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What is Camp Wildcat?

  • We were founded at the University of Arizona in 1965, over 50 years ago!

  • We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

  • We are student run, with support from a university advisor. Current advisor is Elizabeth Sparks.

  • We organize 7 weekend-long camps for students from Title I schools and various single-day activities annually.

  • We have annual budget of more than $20,000, met through constant fundraising efforts by membership.

What does a Camp Wildcat camp look like?

  • What do you mean by "camp"?

    • Camp Wildcat organizes both weekend-long and day-long camps.

  • Will this cost anything?

    • No! The cost of all Camp Wildcat activities for kids is free, and all meals and supplies are provided!

  • How long are these camps?

    • Weekend long camps last from Friday afternoon at around 4:30 pm to Sunday afternoon at about 12:00 pm.

    • Day long camps are normally from 9 am - 3 pm on the University of Arizona Campus or in the surrounding area.

  • How many kids attend these camps?

    • We have 2 kinds of weekend-long camps: Big Camps (twice a semester) and Adventure Camps (once a semester).

    • Big Camps are normally 4th-6th grade, and around 30-40 kids attend.

    • Adventure Camps are smaller camps for 7th and 8th graders - around 20-25 kids attend.

  • Where are these camps held?

    • Our camps are held at campsites in local state parks (e.g. Catalina State Park), Mt Lemmon, or on the University of Arizona campus.

  • What other schools have participated in these camps?

    • As an example, participating schools in the 2012-2013 school year were La Paloma Academy, Wheeler Elementary School, Doolen Middle School, Hudlow Elementary School, Walter Douglas Elementary School, Sahuarita Middle School, Blenman Elementary School

What will my kids do on camp?

  • Hands-on art, social studies, and science projects.

  • Team-building.

  • Hikes.

  • Environmental awareness.

  • Original skits, planned, rehearsed, and performed at camp.

  • Conversations about college and general success.

Who's going to be looking after my kids?

  • Counselors are made up of our amazing college student volunteers from various disciplines. Most of them have already volunteered dozens of hours working with kids, attended our Counselor Training Camp, and many have CPR training.

  • At least one of these counselors on every camp is mandated to be certified to be a Wildnerness First Responder. This person functions as our camp nurse in storing childrens' medications and responding to any potential injuries (though the only injuries we've ever had are cuts and scrapes).

  • All Camp Wildcat counselors must pass a federal background check prior to attending camp.

  • All counselors are trained in Camp Wildcat policies prior to camp.

  • Counselor to camper ratio does not exceed 1:2, so we always make sure everyone is being safe.

  • Strictly enforced "truddy" system that requires counselors interacting with campers to be in groups of 3 or more at all times.

Risk Management

  • Camp Wildcat is insured and adheres to a strict risk management policy, as advised by the official club advisor, Elizabeth Sparks, who has many years of experience in organizing and insuring outdoor camping trips for youth.

  • A Medical Officer is designated on every camp to maintain the Camp Wildcat insurance policy and serve as "camp nurse." The MO is responsible for attending to any illnesses/injuries and administering all medications

  • Approximately 50% of staff, including "Medical Officer," is CPR/First Aid Certified on any given camp.

  • At least 1 staff member per camp is Food Handler Certified.

Working with parents

  • Parent information letters and applications sent out, in both English and Spanish

  • Parents called by staff the week before camp, in English or Spanish

  • Parent Meeting held the week before camp

What schools does Camp Wildcat work with?

  • Camp Wildcat selects schools from a comprehensive list of Title 1 schools posted by each school district in the greater Tucson area.

  • We make an effort to bring different schools on our camps every year.

  • Schools are contacted at least 4 weeks prior to camp date and weekly meetings are arranged between the school administrators and Camp Wildcat camp directors.

  • Camp Wildcat counselors meet with students of the selected school 2-3 weeks prior to camp date.

  • Camper selection process is flexible, but often this is done on a first-come-first-serve basis.

  • Camper pick-up and drop-off will done at the campers´ school on Friday and Sunday afternoons, so arrangements must be made for a school representative to be present and school gates to be open at the designated times. Camp Wildcat is not allowed to drive campers to their homes.

If you believe students at your school or after-school program would benefit from participating in a Camp Wildcat program, please fill out our online application to be added to our database.

How to contact us:

  • Email: mail@campwildcat.org

  • Mailing Address:

2100 E Speedway Blvd

Tucson, AZ 85717

PO Box 41674

Still have questions?

Please see Frequently Asked Questions or contact us at the email address or phone number above.

Does Camp Wildcat not meet your needs? Check here for other resources:

(Please note that Camp Wildcat has no relation to these other organizations and is not responsible for their website content or conduct.)

College Resources

  • College Board Complete resource for all things college: preparing for college, required tests, college search, information about paying for college, and more.

  • Fast Web Guide to help pay for college including links to numerous scholarships, financial aid, military-service options, and job searches.

  • US Department of Education Information and paying for college through government subsidized loans.

  • AmeriCorps Earn money for college while serving your country and learning new skills as a civilian service member.

Arizona Family and Youth Resources

  • Child and Family Resources List of various resources in Tucson for all types of families in need.

  • Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA) 24-hr Sexual Assault Crisis Lines: (520) 327-7273 or (800) 400-1001 (Se habla espanol) It is their mission to reduce the trauma and incidence of sexual assault by providing treatment and promoting prevention of sexual abuse, incest, molestation and rape. They provide a safe place for survivors to gain strength, learn coping skills, and develop trusting, caring relationships.

  • EON Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth Center. Provide support groups, drop-in center, homeless youth resources and shelter, tutoring, and leadership development programs. They also provide 24-hour Anti-Violence crisis line for people of all ages: 520-624-0348 or 800-553-9387

  • List of Arizona Resources for Teens including suicide prevention hotline and counseling services provided by Youthline.

National Family and Youth Resources

  • National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) Resources concerning youth runaways for both parents and teens. The crisis line for runaway youth seeking resources, a safe space, or just someone to talk to: 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)

  • Youth America Hotline Providing peer-to-peer consulting and resources for youth in crisis. Talk to a fellow youth and not an adult: 1- 877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454)

  • Child Help Dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Resources for both victims of abuse and those suspecting abuse of another. National hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800- 412-4453)

  • National Dometic Abuse Hotline Anonymous and confidential help for victims of domestic abuse and their peers: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799- 7233) 1-800-787-3224 (Text telephone)

  • National Center for Victims of Crime Providing legal and social support for crime victims.

  • Suicide Hotlines: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-782-2433) in English, 1-800-SUICIDA (1-800-782-2432) en Espanol

  • List of other National Resources including missing children, victims of rape and crime, domestic abuse, among other categories provided by athealth.com.