Family Camp

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary!


WELCOME TO FAMILY CAMP, a one-of-a-kind experiential program for children aged 5-12 set in the beautiful redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains. At Family Camp, children and parents explore a variety of methods for cultivating happy, contented minds, and acquire techniques to help them navigate the emotionally complex society we live in today.


Built on the foundations of Tibetan Buddhism, Family Camp provides participants with tools for understanding their thoughts and emotions through meditation, discussion, art, nature and play.  It is an opportunity to unplug and reconnect, bringing families together in an environment rich with opportunity to practice and experiment with the values of Buddhism.  Together we enjoy a break from technology, being ‘off the grid’ at Vajrapani Institute, and have many opportunities to connect with others as well as reconnect with ourselves.




Throughout their camp experience, children are provided with concepts and methods for calming and concentrating their minds, helping them to better understand themselves and how their mind works.  Children are ripe for learning and given the opportunity, they are capable of grasping quite sophisticated ideas.


At Family Camp, we endeavor to plant these seeds of knowledge, leading children through simple yet thoughtful meditations which are tailored to their level of understanding. These skills are reinforced during small chat sessions with story-telling and discussions about social emotional balance, incorporating topics such as compassion, kindness, awareness and wisdom.


Parents will be learning these same skills in an adult track, following along in their child’s experience among a supportive community, striving to provide their child or children with the tools for navigating our modern society and its challenges.  Parents find the meditations invaluable for their own minds, while building community around love, compassion, generosity, and patience.  There’s no need to be Buddhist to attend; all who are curious about exploring their inner world and how we interact with it are welcome!




Creativity comes in many forms at Family Camp.  Each summer participants work on a unique, hands-on project corresponding with the theme for that year.  Arts and crafts sessions allow children and parents to freely create and express themselves through visual arts, experiential learning, and discovery.  Less structured learning occurs during nature walks which lead participants through the majestic redwood forest, observing and gaining awarenesses not yet explored in other sessions.  The highlight of camp is the annual talent show, where children and parents alike are invited to share their creativity, skills and talents before the most supportive, loving and safe audience.




In between sessions of exploring our minds, we give opportunities to drop into our bodies through varied movement modalities.  There are sessions for both children and adults, addressing the various needs of differing bodies and ages.  There are also guided walks in and around the 75 acres of majestic redwood forest surrounding Vajrapani.  These opportunities to connect mind and body together help integrate our discoveries on a deeper, physical level.




2024 – Thursday, July 25th – Sunday, July 28th

Please complete our application form, using the link below, so we can get to know a little bit about you and your family. We will then contact you via email for the next steps.

Apply Here




  • July 24-27, 2025
  • July 23-26, 2026
  • July 22-25, 2027
  • July 27-30, 2028




Feel free to contact us at with any further questions. Thank you!