Casti Camp

Casti Camp Castilleja School summer camp

Casti Camp is all-day, all-girl fun! Girls who come here experience the true meaning of summer with dedicated time and space for play, creativity, exploration, and discovery. For many new campers, this is their first camp experience, and we immediately see them develop confidence as they settle into making decisions for themselves and building new friendships. For returning campers, we notice they stand a little taller and smile a little wider the moment they arrive.  Casti Camp is a wonderful combination of cherished tradition and exciting activities, creating a world that is both relevant and inspiring for girls today. Our camp is available to rising 2nd-6th graders, and we offer a vibrant Counselor-in-Leadership-Training (CiLT) program to rising 7th-9th graders. These older mentors offer valuable and lasting lessons in leadership to our younger campers.

Casti Camp is located at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, and our facilities include gymnasiums, art rooms, a swimming pool, classrooms, stage, field and more! A delicious lunch and snack is provided every day. Extended Day Care is also available.


Excellent value! Fantastic counselors, well-organized. I like that my daughter can make choices about the activities she is interested in doing, which is more like overnight camp. I like that she is independent at camp, moving from one activity to another. I also love that food is included and that she loves it!Casti Camp Parent 2018

Casti Camp Program

Casti Camp empowers young girls to make real-life decisions as they create their own daily schedules. Before camp begins, campers will submit a list of top choices for activities in the five activity periods. We try to enroll our campers in different types of activities so that their days are balanced, but we also work hard to ensure that campers are enrolled in as many of their top choices as possible.

We offer a wide range of activities - from swimming, arts, and crafts, dance, science, engineering, computers, theater, cooking, to a wide variety of sports and games. The activities are designed to generate joy, curiosity, and confidence in trying something new. The offerings change slightly from year to year and from session to session. What makes our program unique and engaging is that our counselors design the activities based on their areas of interest and expertise. Their enthusiasm and ownership for what they teach inspire the campers to engage, explore and learn new skills.

Here is a list of just some of the activities we have offered in the past:

  • Hip Historians
  • Palo Alto Poets
  • Creative Cardmaking
  • Lanyard Madness
  • Budding Artists
  • Geodesic Dome Making
  • Rube Goldberg Machine Making
  • Mad Scientists
  • Casti Chronicle
  • Pool Games
  • Double Dutch
  • Games Galore
  • Slurpin’ Smoothies
  • Dance Around the World

Small Group Philosophy

This was our first experience with summer camps in general, and we were thrilled with Castilleja. My daughters are still singing the camp cheers and songs, and we are very excited for next year.Casti Camp Parent 2018

Camp is a wonderful opportunity for each camper to expand their friendships. With this in mind, each camper is assigned to a small group of 7 to 10 girls led by a dedicated counselor. Camp groups are formed by grade level and consist of girls that are roughly the same age. We understand that many girls attend camp with their friends, however, we are not able to guarantee that they will be placed in the same group. Instead, we encourage friends who want to spend time together throughout the camp day to register for the same activities. As the majority of their days are spent in activities, not in group time, girls will have plenty of time with old friends and still have opportunities to meet new friends. In the event that there is an extreme need for friends to spend group time together, please contact the Camp Director.

Leadership (CiLT) Program

Our Counselor-in-Leadership-Training program is for girls entering seventh through ninth grades who want to bond with girls their age while developing important leadership skills--like listening, flexibility, problem-solving and public speaking. Please note, this leadership program runs for four weeks rather than the two-week camper program. We ask for this longer commitment because it allows our CiLTs time to evolve and grow to reach their fullest potential as leaders and role models. At Casti Camp, we are always so proud of the growth we see in our CiLTs over the course of the summer, but even more important than that, our CiLTs end the summer with the confidence to engage in the next leadership opportunity they pursue.
At Casti Camp we strive to create activities and experiences for young emerging women to begin to define who they are and what is important to them in a safe and supportive environment. The CiLT program is designed to be intimate in order to foster relationship building, yet big enough to be able to learn from a wide range of girls in the group.
CiLTs attend leadership and planning sessions during one part of the day and support counselors in their classes during another part of the day. Each CiLT is assigned to a counselor and small group of campers. CiLTs help their counselors with tasks such as keeping their group together, playing games, and leading their group in activities.
CiLTs are never asked to supervise campers without an adult present, but they are given roles that allow them to exercise their leadership skills. CiLTs come to Casti Camp with a positive, inclusive spirit and enjoy working with children.

Casti Camp Day & Hours


Campers arrive & meet with Counselor Group


All Camp Morning Meeting


1st activity period


2nd activity period


Snack - Camp provides


3rd activity period


All Camp Extravaganza

This is an opportunity for all campers to gather together and engage in a camp-wide activities which vary each day. Activities include relay games, small group games, and talent shows.


Lunch - Camp provides


Silent Reading & Story Time

Each day, campers take a break after lunch to read silently or to listen to a popular chapter book read by a counselor. Campers are encouraged to bring a book from home, and we also have a small library of books.


4th activity period


5th activity period


Free Time

At the end of each camp day, girls can pick from a variety of supervised free-time activities. Activities may include swimming, group games, dance, crafts, or reading.


Camp- Closing Meeting


Campers dismissed to pick-up locations


Campers depart


Extended Day Program - Snack is provided


Casti Camp Dates and Fees

  • Four-week session and CiLT   $2,480
    • Session 1 June 15 – July 10 (no camp July 3)   $2,356
    • Session 2 July 13 – August 7
  • Two-week session  $1,240
    • 1A June 15 – June 26
    • 1B June 29 – July 10  (no camp July 3) $1,116
    • 2A July 13 – July 24
    • 2B July 27 – August 7
  • Extended Care is offered every day of camp from 4:00-6:00 pm
    • $200 two-week session
    • $400 four-week session
    • $30 per day

All camp fees must be paid online and will be due when registering for camp. Your child's spot in camp will not be reserved until fees are paid in full. We only accept online payments for Casti Camp. 

You will receive a confirmation email as soon as your payment has been received. Please print this confirmation page and receipt for your records. It will also include our Federal Tax ID number. Once you have your confirmation page your child is registered for Casti Camp. In late May you will receive additional information about classes, schedules, and other details.

There is a limited Financial Aid budget. If you wish to apply for it, please click here for the 2019 Financial Aid application. You will not be able to register online until your Financial Aid application has been received and approved. However, spots are reserved for all those who apply for Financial Aid. 

Please contact if you have any questions regarding Financial Aid or Casti Camp registration.

The Federal Tax ID number for Castilleja School is 94-0373222.

Refund and Cancellation

Families withdrawing before May 1st, 2019 will be charged a cancellation fee of $250 per session.

After May 1st, no refunds will be issued.

Camp fees are not refunded or prorated for days of camp missed.

2019 Staff

Polly Caddes - Camp Director

Hey happy campers! This summer will be my fourth summer at Casti Camp! I am so excited to be back and I am looking forward  to seeing your smiling faces and to hear your beautiful voices belting out our silly camp songs! When I am not at camp, I love to travel to see friends, family and to explore new places. I have three children and each one lives in a different time zone! I love to play outdoors; some of my most favorite activities are playing tennis, hiking in the hills, and skiing in the mountains. This past winter I skied a lot and I am still smiling as I think back to all the fun I had in the snow.  Now, I am focusing on summer and working to make sure you have a fantastic time at Casti Camp this summer. See you soon!


Le’Marqunita Lowe - Assistant Camp Director

Hello! I have been an educator for seven years, teaching preschool and kindergarten. I have also taught English language learners for online schools in China and Japan.  Currently, I direct an after-school enrichment program. I enjoy holistic education where I can help kids to discover their talent by fusing the creative arts and academics.  I graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Education. During my spare time I enjoy writing, making cosmetics by hand, and volunteering. I am excited to meet everyone this year and make memories!


Amber Kesapradist

Hello! My name is Amber Kesapradist and I just finished my first year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering and in Design, Innovation, and Society. This is my first year as a Casti Camp counselor. In my free time I like to spend time with friends and family, read, play piano, and drink boba!



Amelia Geser - CiLT Coordinator

Hello! My name is Amelia and I'm super excited to start my first summer as a Casti Camp counselor. I'm from New York and just graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in art history. I'm new to California and I can't wait to explore, go hiking, and find some new favorite restaurants. I'm looking forward to a great summer!


Angelica Ortiz

Heya campers! I'm Angélica, and I just finished my second year as an elementary school art teacher. I have been a camp counselor for many summers, and I am looking forward to teaching art classes again, singing camp songs, dancing around during free time, and all the fun that Casti Camp has to offer! I cannot wait to see returning campers and meet new campers as well. See you all this summer!


Benjamin De La Cruz

Hello everyone! My name is Benjamin De La Cruz and I just finished my first year at Aurora University in Illinois where I am studying athletic training and exercise science. I am on a 3+2 program where I will receive my masters in 5 years. While attending school here, I also play division 3 lacrosse; we have been conference champions for the last 6 years! In my free time I like to play sports, spend time with friends and skateboard. I’m excited to spend my summer with all of you and have some fun!


Chris Story

Hi! My name is Chris Story and I am a rising sophomore at Vassar College, where I am double majoring in Music and German with a minor in Math. I am new to Casti Camp, so I am excited to see what it's like! In my free time I play video games, go to the city, do yoga, and practice my instruments. Let's have a great summer!


Claire Bourquin

Hey everyone! My name is Claire Bourquin and I just finished my second year at Cal Poly SLO where I am majoring in Liberal studies with a concentration in Math and a Minor in Biotechnology. This is my first year as a Casti Camp counselor, I was however a camper for 6 years and I'm so excited to come back and meet you all! In my free time I love to swim, bake, watch Netflix and relax. I can't wait for this summer!


Clementine Sicard

Hello! My name is Clémentine and I am in my third year at the University of California, Davis where I major in English and minor in French and Professional Writing. I have worked at several camps but this is my first year as a Casti Camp counselor and I am so excited for this summer! In my free time I like to read, bake cookies, and travel. I am currently studying abroad in London until June and I can't wait to share my stories from overseas when I return and meet you all soon!


Courtney Burks - CiLT Coordinator

Hello, friends! My name is Courtney Burks and I am a graduate student at San Jose State University studying Communication Studies. This is my first summer at Casti Camp, and I am so excited to create amazing memories with you. I enjoy great conversations, going to the beach, exercising, reading, and spending time with loved ones. This summer will be rad, and I can't wait to meet you!


Erica Lee

Hello! My name is Erica and I just finished my first year of Grad School at Mills College where I am studying Electronic Music and Recording Media.  I am so excited to spend this summer with all of you! I love animals, baking, doing yoga, trying out new restaurants and hanging out with friends. Can’t wait to meet you all!


Isabella Breitbart

Hey campers! My name is Isabella and I just finished my second year at Chico State University where I am majoring in Sociology and minoring in Psychology. This is my first year as a Casti Camp counselor, and I am so excited to get to know all of you this summer! In my free time I like to travel, do yoga, hang out with friends, get ice cream, listen to music, and attend concerts and music festivals!


Izzy London - CiLT Coordinator and Counsleor

Hey Everyone! My name is Izzy! I just finished my third year at Chapman University, where I am majoring in Integrated Educational Studies. The dance studios are my favorite place on campus. I attended Casti Camp for three years as a camper, one year as a CILT, and joined two years ago as a counselor. I can’t wait to spend another summer at Casti, singing all of the camp songs and making a whole lot of fun new memories. Excited to meet y’all!


Joselyn Loaiza

Hello! My name is Joselyne. I graduated from Humboldt State University in Northern California. My major was Biological Anthropology where monkeys, apes, and lemurs became my favorite thing to learn about! My hobbies include spending time outdoors, playing the ukulele, and taking care of my pet lizard and hedgehog. I can't wait to be your Casti Camp Counselor and have an awesome summer!


Kelly Warren

Hi! My name is Kelly Warren and I just finished my first year of college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. At Vanderbilt, I am majoring in Child Development and will also be a resident advisor and a research assistant in one of our on-campus labs in the coming school year. This is my first summer as a Casti Camp counselor and I am so excited to meet all of you! In my free time I can always be found dancing, drinking coffee, or listening to live music in Music City!


Leah Miller

Hi everyone! My name is Leah and I am going to be a third year at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where I am majoring in Liberal Studies with a minor in psychology. This is my second year as a Casti Camp counselor and I am so excited to be back and for the great summer ahead! Some things I like to do in my free time are go to the beach, hangout with family, friends and my dog, eat food and watch LOTS of movies and tv shows. Can't wait to meet you all!


Lily Dodd

Hi, Casti Campers and CiLTs! My name is Lily and I just finished my second year at Yale University, where I am majoring in American Studies and perform with a musical improv group. This is my second year at Casti Camp--last year I was a CiLT coordinator and this year I'll be a counselor. I am so excited to see familiar faces and meet new campers. In my free time I like to read, write, rock climb, and eat avocados. Can't wait for summer 2019!


Liz Pang

Hi everyone! My name is Elizabeth, you can also call me Liz, and this will be my second summer at Casti Camp! I went to Casti for high school, and now I go to school in LA at Occidental College where I'm majoring in American Studies and minoring in History. I'm so excited to spend the summer at camp doing crafts and sports and lifeguarding! What I do at camp is basically what I like to do in my free time, crafts, writing, reading, and playing sports! We're going to have so much fun this summer!


Maddie Ebstein

Hi! My name is Maddie and I just finished my first year at the University of Michigan. I am planning on majoring in Biology, Health, and Society and double minoring in Math and Community Action and Social Change. This will be my first summer as a Casti Camp counselor, but I came to Casti Camp for 5 years as a camper and 1 year as a CILT! I love spending time with my friends and family, and in my free time I enjoy being outside and exploring new places! I’m so excited to spend my summer at Casti Camp and I can’t wait to meet you all!



Melissa Nuckolls

Hi everyone! My name is Melissa and this is my 5th summer here at Casti Camp! I am a graduate from University of Oregon and am currently applying to graduate school for Occupational Therapy. From being a camper to a counselor, Casti Camp has always been something I look forward to each summer! In my free time I love being outside doing fun activities like hiking and going to the beach. I am so excited to be back and meet you all this summer, see you then!


Mikayla Marrin

Hi my name is Mikayla and I just finished my second year at San Diego State University where I am majoring in Biology. I am so excited to be joining the Casti Camp counselors this summer to meet all of you! When I am not studying I love to do yoga, rock climb, spend time with my pets and go to the beach with friends. I can't wait until this summer!


Nina Kamangar

Hey pals, I'm Nina~ I just graduated from University of San Francisco with a double major in Philosophy and Religious Studies. I'm so excited to be returning to camp for my second year as a counselor, with some creative classes to offer. My hobbies include meditating, playing tennis, adventuring in nature and cities, talking to plants, being silly, listening to and dancing to music, making arts and crafts, thinking about the meaning of life, and learning about as much as possible. I'm excited for more fun with you all this summer!


Sadie Michel

Hi all! My name is Sadie and I just finished my first year of college at Millersville University in Pennsylvania where I am currently studying Secondary English and Special Education. This will be my first year as a Casti Camp counselor and I am so excited to see what this summer has in store for us! In my free time I like to hike, do yoga, craft, and search for the best smoothie spot in town! I can't wait to spend the summer with you all!


Sehar Masud

Hi! My name is Sehar & I just finished my first year of college at UC Berkeley where I’m studying biology. I was a camper at Casti Camp when I was younger so I am beyond excited to return as a counselor!! I made so many great memories at camp and I can’t wait for you all to have as much fun as I did! Some things I love are the beach, hanging out with my friends, music, painting, and coffee. I’m looking forward to an amazing summer with you guys!


Shannon Reid

Hi my name is Shannon, and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Oregon. I am a Psychology major and this is my first year as a counselor! When up in Oregon I love to swim and hike with friends, and take advantage of the sunny days. Can't wait to spend the summer with all of you at Casti Camp!


Sweden Smith

Hi Y’all! My name is Sweden and I just finished my sophomore year at a Willamette University where I am majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. This will be my first summer at Casti Camp and I’m excited to spend it with all of you. I like to listen to audiobooks, nap, swim in the ocean, eat snacks, and spend time with my mamá. I’m so excited to get to know you!


Vanessa Gonzales

Hi my name  is Vanessa, and I'm so excited to be returning to Casti Camp for the second year in a row. I currently live in Colorado where I work at a coffee shop and boutique and go to school part time. I am so excited to meet all the counselors and campers. A few fun facts about me are that I have a dog named Willow, I love cooking, coffee, and playing guitar!


Girls Rule!

Our campers have a wide range of camp activities from which to choose, and we empower them to select the activities that spark their interest and encourage growth. The choices are wide and varied and are designed by our counselors to inspire creativity, risk-taking, relationship-building, and responsibility. The camp day balances independence, as each camper follows her unique schedule of activities and reflection, with time spent in small counselor-led groups to give a consistent place to start and end each day. Campers also enjoy special activities on Fridays including field trips, camper showcases, and all-camp carnivals.


Can I request that my daughter is placed in the same counselor group as her friend?

We strive to foster an environment where new friends are made; therefore, we do not place friends in the same group. There is time throughout the day where friends can be together such as during snack, after they have finished lunch, reading time, and during free time. If friends would like to spend more time together, they are encouraged to sign up for some activities together. Please contact the Camp Director if your daughter has a situation where being with her friend is imperative; otherwise, campers are placed in groups by grade and in a random fashion.

Are accommodations made for those on a special diet?

Snack and lunch are served each day at camp and on field trips. We offer a wide variety of food in order to accommodate a range of dietary needs. While we do not serve dishes with nuts, please note that our kitchen is not nut-free (and peanut butter is available to campers who would like it). You are welcome to send a snack and lunch with your daughter. You may contact the Sherie Graysmark, Director of Food Services for more specific information.

Can you accommodate my daughter if she needs to take medicine throughout the day?

Please bring your daughter’s medication on the first day of her session. We will store her medication in the camp office for her to take when needed. Please contact the Camp Director to discuss in more detail if needed.

What should my camper bring to camp each day?

Your daughter will be assigned an unlocked locker for her stay at camp. Please do not send valuables to camp. Please label all of her possessions. Each day she should bring a book for reading time, a swimsuit and flip-flops if she plans to swim, a water bottle, and a hat for the sun. Please apply sunscreen in the morning before camp and send her with some to apply during the day.

Will my daughter be offered enough liquids to stay hydrated through the day?

Yes, we have jugs of water and drinking fountains around camp. Please send her with a water bottle so that she may drink when she feels thirsty.

This was our first experience with summer camps in general, and we were thrilled with Castilleja. My daughters are still singing the camp cheers and songs, and we are very excited for next year.Casti Camp Parent 2018

Meet the Team

Polly Caddes

Titles: Director of Casti Camp

Marlyn Negron

Titles: Admission Coordinator/Summer Coordinator

Jon Rockman

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Senior Class Dean, i2 Camp Director

Brenda Villa

Titles: Equity Education Coordinator, Head Coach, Varsity and VA Water Polo, Assistant Coach, Varsity Swimming