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WHAT CAMP URSA MAJOR IS ALL ABOUT
At Camp Ursa Major, we focus more on growth and learning than just on doing activities. We teach social intelligence, self-control, gratitude, grit, curiosity, optimism, and zest. Being a part of a camp group, with lots of new faces, builds social intelligence, giving campers greater ability to find solutions to conflicts with others. Trying new activities grows curiosity, teaching kids how to ask questions and helping them be even more eager to explore new things. And these are just a few examples!
WE HELP CAMPERS BECOME BETTER CITIZENS WHO SERVE AS STEWARDS OF THE EARTH AND THEIR COMMUNITIES
HOW OUR PROGRAM BUILDS COMMUNITY
The Ursa Major camp experience focuses on growing and building relationships between campers, counselors, and their out-of-camp community. From day one, campers are accepted and brought into our camp community. With their counselors and fellow groupmates, they continue to build and create a supportive environment that promotes growth.
THE KEY TO OUR SUCCESS: OUR STAFF
All of our staff must go through a competitive vetting process, personal interview with background checks, and an intensive 5-day orientation before ever meeting their future campers. From there, our staff are equipped to create growth opportunities and mentor campers in any and all situations.
WHAT MAKES US THE BEST DAY CAMP IN TOWN?
It's simple: our activities are led by amazing staff that weave critical life skills through everything that our campers do. Arts and Crafts teaches both candle making and grit. Archery is much more that getting a bullseye -- it's about patience, positive self-talk, and mindfulness. We are the only traditional day camp in Napa as well as being the only American Camping Association accredited camp within miles. We adhere to over 150 operating standards that have been proven to be the best practices in the industry on a national level.
A FAMILY OWNED CAMP
From Our Family to Yours
We can't believe that only a few years ago, Camp Ursa Major, and the memories that would follow, was just an idea. A great idea with lots of optimism, hope, and support, but so brand-new that Goose, Landshark and I could not even begin to imagine how it would unfold. After the amazing Summer and Winter Camps that followed, we only have one thing to say to you, our camp families:
You and your families have made our dreams come true. From silly games on the field to camping under the stars, hundreds of great memories were made and it wouldn't have happened without you. Often times we are asked "How did you choose Napa? Why Napa?". We have responded with the same story that many of you have heard: we were in search for a great town to start our own business, did some research, found a good site, and so on. But now, we have a much better answer when people ask "How did we choose". Our answer is "How could we not? With families and campers who are so supportive and excited about camp, we can't think of any other place that we would want to call home!"
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all the campers, camp families, and friends that have made Napa such a special home for Camp Ursa Major. Here's to many more camp memories to come!
Liz and Andy Kimmelman
Liz (or TukTuk) was the first of us at Tumbleweed, our sister camp in Los Angeles, joining the staff as an assistant counselor and later bringing along her brother Patrick (or Chaps) into the same position. Liz later worked as a ropes course specialist, assistant site director, and CIT director at Tumbleweed. She’s also been the director of Camp Max Straus in Glendale and Marin Ranch Camp. She spreads her professional expertise beyond our camps as well, as the program chair of the American Camp Association’s Spring Leadership Conference and as a member of the Local Council of Leaders. ACA has honored Liz with the Paul Somers Golden Acorn Award for her avid volunteerism.
Liz and Andy (or Landshark) met at Tumbleweed, and have shared their camp experiences and lives ever since. Even before Liz, though, Andy was a lifelong camper, having grown up at YMCA Camp Grady Spruce in Texas before joining Tumbleweed as the North Site Director. Outside of Camp Ursa Major, he volunteers avidly in professional development for the camp industry. ACA has honored Andy with Section Service and Outstanding Service Awards and with the Jack Weiner Leadership Award. Andy and Liz welcomed their first child, Eloise, in 2016, growing their own little camp family. Eloise looks forward to being a camper in 2020. In 2017, Henry joined the crew and is already loves the outdoors.