Camp Chance is a program created by the San Rafael Police Department in collaboration with the Marin County Sheriff’s Department and the Marin County Office of Education. The Camp is administered by the Youth Services Bureau, a unit within the San Rafael Police Department. The YSB works with juvenile first-time offenders, and provide in-school counseling and therapy services to families living and/or working in San Rafael.
Every summer, SRPD hosts a camp for at-risk/under served youth (ages 11–13). Now in its 18th year, Camp Chance is a 5-day residential summer camp that offers a structured camping and counseling experience with a mix of challenging physical, mental and emotional activities. Over 900 middle school youth have benefited from this camping program since its inception in 1999.
The week long camp is held at Walker Creek Ranch, a Marin County Office of Education camp and conference center located in West Marin. The Ranch provides adult leadership for all camp activities and we facilitate workshops on topics relevant to today’s youth, such as anger management and bullying.
Marin County Sheriff deputies join with San Rafael police officers to participate with the kids in all the activities throughout the week. This informal and personal contact with peace officers has proven to be a big win-win for the kids, police and community. When children feel more connected with their community and build a good relationship with their police officers, they are less likely to be involved in destructive behavior and criminal activity.
In 2018, a total of 111 children attended Camp Chance. additional campers were 14–15 year old teenagers who returned as Counselors-In-Training (CIT’s), our alumni program for kids who previously attended Camp Chance and have demonstrated the leadership characteristics to now be a role model for the younger campers, as well as assist the senior staff with facilitating the program.
Plans are already underway for Camp Chance 2019. Please consider a donation to Camp Chance today — the program is completely funded by local citizens and businesses — we rely on people like you who can give the campers a chance.
Our tax-exempt number is 94-6000424. Please make checks payable to “The City of San Rafael.”