Urban Adventure Camps is a unique day camp that takes campers on daily field trips throughout the Bay Area to the top museums, activities and urban attractions. Children get to learn how to navigate the Bay Area and gain confidence and independence.

Our goal is to bring the best and brightest leaders to the camping world. We hire experienced staff members who are passionate about working with children and share a love for the subject that they teach.

All of our staff are rigorously interviewed in person, have background checks as well as experience working with children. Each group has a ratio of two adults to a maximum of fifteen campers. In each group there is one instructor and one counselor. Instructors have an extensive background in working with children and have a large amount of experience taking children on field trips around the Bay Area. Counselors are young adults with past experience working with children. Each group is run independently from other groups during the same session. This ensures that each child receives substantial focus and attention for the entirety of their week at UAC.

We follow basic, straightforward principles of monitoring groups and counting to make sure every child is consistently accounted for. All groups have a staff member that is trained and certified in CPR and First Aid.

Meet our Staff

Mike Dobson - Co-Founder / Camp Director

Mike has over ten years of experience working in the camping industry.  The inspiration for UAC came from Mike’s many years as a camper, staff member and administrator at various camps throughout California.  Before UAC, he was the program director for a school year and summer camp outdoor education facility in southern California.  Mike loves the Bay Area, and when he is not at an A’s game, he can often be found exploring local parks and trails with his two dogs.

Caitlin Dobson - Co-Founder / Education Director

Caitlin has a wealth of experience working with children in various camp and educational settings. She has her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master’s degree in Education. Caitlin has either been a camper, counselor, instructor, or camp director for each of the last 30 years.  When not out working with kids, Caitlin can often be found on the ice hockey rink or trying out new chocolate chip cookie recipes in the kitchen.

Bryan Dunn-Ruiz - Instructor

Bryan was born and raised in the bay area. He has over ten years experience teaching in East Bay public schools and working with youth.  As a teacher, Bryan has had the opportunity to take his students on many outings in the greater Bay Area utilizing public transportation.  He enjoys introducing his students to the wonderful cultural and recreational experiences that the bay area has to offer.

Matt Clark - Instructor

Matt was born and raised in Oakland California and knows the Bay Area extremely well. He is in his 12th year teaching in the Oakland Public School District. He is a fully credentialed (level two education specialist credential) teacher and leads the largest special education department in Oakland.  He has over 10 years coaching experience with grades two through high school as well as at the college level.  He is very active in lacrosse, hockey, and mountain biking and loves the outdoors. Camping has been part of his life since he was born. 

Jessica Clark - Instructor

Jessica was born and raised in the Bay Area.  She has a B.A. in History, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master of Education degree.  Jessica has been teaching grades 4-6 for the past 8+ years and enjoys taking her classes on multiple field trips each year to explore and appreciate all the cultural and academic diversity the Bay Area has to offer. Jessica was an active summer camp participant growing up and a volunteer counselor at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times in the L.A. area for several years when attending U.C.S.B.  In her free time Jessica enjoys playing soccer, traveling the world and spending time with her friends and family (especially if it involves being outdoors).

Brian Dodson - Instructor

Brian grew up in the Bay Area and just completed his third year of teaching at Maya Lin Elementary in Alameda. Brian has worked with kids throughout his life as a camp counselor, baseball coach, and reading specialist.  His favorite days of the school year are field trips so he looks forward to exploring new and exciting places all over the Bay Area!

Emilia Calderon - Instructor

Emilia grew up in the East Bay and just finished her third year teaching math at Richmond High School. She has her Master's Degree in Urban Education with a focus on Policy and Administration. Growing up in a big family with seven siblings and her experience as an educator inspires her desire to explore new adventures with kids. In her spare time, she enjoys swing dancing and karaoke.

Liam Dodson - Instructor

Liam is just completing his first year as a teacher in the Alameda Unified School District, teaching 6-7th graders at Wood Middle School. A native of Oakland and alumni of UC Berkeley (go Bears!), Liam moved up to Portland, Oregon in his early twenties, where he completed a master's degree in Religious Studies, concentrating upon Buddhism. In his free time, Liam enjoys reading and studying theology; staying up-to-date on Harry Potter news; babysitting his niece and nephew; playing tennis with his brother; bike rides; being outdoors as much as possible; and working with and spending time with kids. 

Khaliah Byrd - Counselor

Khaliah was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She just finished her first year at Sarcramento State University. She is a Child Development major and aspires to be a school teacher or a labor and delivery nurse if I go back to school for nursing in the future. 

Annie Shu - Counselor

Annie was born on the East Coast but raised in the Bay Area, and is currently studying biology at the University of Washington. Annie has worked with kids for years in aquatics, summer camps, and academic programs. Annie loves meeting new kids and is incredibly excited to be exploring the Bay Area this summer with them! In her free time, she enjoys swimming, playing guitar, and watching movies.

Ernesto Umaña - Instructor

Ernesto was born and raised in Southern California but has called the Bay Area home for the past four years. He has a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University and Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from UC Riverside. He has years of experience in student travel and is excited to explore different parts of the bay this summer. When he is not working with young people, he enjoys all things food and dance related

Cameron Thompson - Instructor

Cameron Thompson is a California native currently living and working in Oakland. His art and passion for creativity is rooted in social justice and how we collaborate with the community around us. He has been a teacher in public schools and other community programs for over 15 years. He’s been showing his art in galleries and public spaces for over 20 years. His current art work focuses on nature and the balance we are trying to find in it. The birds he paints represent our ancestors and the freedom to explore beyond boundaries and barriers. He has paintings currently up at Room 389 in Oakland as well as Traffic Records in Atascadero.

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