Camp Hollywoodland helps girls explore, bond and grow

| March 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

The City of Los Angeles opened Griffith Park Girls’ Camp in 1926. It moved to its current location at 3200 Canyon Dr. in 1951, and Camp Hollywoodland, as it is now called, is still going strong nearly 100 years later.

This summer, at a series of four-night sleepaways being offered between June 17 and Aug. 9, girls ages 6 to 17 will immerse themselves in the camp’s urban forest environment to form friendships, build confidence, rise to challenges and have some classic camp fun.

Each week is uniquely themed at Camp Hollywoodland, and most weeks include a one-day field trip to Universal Studios, Disneyland or Soak City. But the camp’s overarching aim is to offer girls an opportunity for personal growth through teamwork, friend-making, self-reliance, the discovery of new talents and the chance to try new activities.

BOLLYWOOD color celebration comes to Camp Hollywoodland.

A typical Camp Hollywoodland day starts with breakfast in the dining hall followed by two or three activities such as arts and crafts, group games and time at the rock wall. After lunch and some time to relax, girls get swim time before another activity or before going to dinner. Sometimes the camp organizes a carnival or fashion show after the evening meal before campfire time and bed.

“This is a lot of girls’ first time away from home, and the staff is really great at making them feel comfortable,” said Rizzo, the camp’s recreation coordinator who only gave her camp name. “It’s a great place for campers to experience independence, make new friends and try new things.”

There is a minimum of two counselors per cabin at the camp, and the camp counselor / camper ratio varies by age with a 1-to-6 ratio for younger campers and a 1-to-12 ratio for older girls.

Lynette Smith (or Cricket, her camp name), has been working at the camp since 1993. She started out as a camp counselor and, working her way up, became the camp’s director in 2022. “When I was 12, and a first-time camper at sleepaway camp, I decided I wanted to be a camp counselor when I grew up, and here I am,” she said. 

Smith sees Camp Hollywoodland as a place where the best parts of Los Angeles are gathered together. She loves that campers and staff get to meet so many different people. “We have campers attend from all over Los Angeles and from other countries,” she said. Girls from Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, France and Dubai join locals at the camp. “[It] provides something different for everyone who is here. Camp gives us all a place where we can be ourselves 100 percent of the time,” said Smith.

CLIMBING area at Camp Hollywoodland gets girls up among the trees.

The director told us that when she first became a program director in 1996, it was important to her to keep classic camp traditions alive. She sees camp as a unique opportunity for children to foster their own independence. It provides a place for them to take safe risks, trying things they may never have tried.

GIRLS ready themselves for one of the camp challenges.

Smith told us that many parents call her after camp ends to tell her how their picky eater is trying more foods, their shy daughter is making friends more easily or that their child has asked to take lessons in a skill she tried for the first time at camp.

Camp Hollywoodland gives campers choices, opportunities and experiences, but the program is really centered on building relationships. “We believe the relationships you foster at camp are for life,” said Smith.

While summer camp is what most people know about Camp Hollywoodland, the facility offers a variety of other programs throughout the year. Parent / child weekends, family day camps, movie nights and girl getaway weekends are some of the offerings available.

CAMPERS at Griffith Park Boys’ Camp are ready to replenish their energy after a day of camp activities.

Boys’ Camp

Boys have a similar opportunity at Camp Hollywoodland’s brother camp, Griffith Park Boys’ Camp, founded in 1925, a year before the girls’ camp. Located on 10 acres in the Griffith Park hills, the residential boys’ camp has a rock climbing wall, a high ropes challenge course, miles of hiking trails and an archery range.  It too is a classic camp and aims to give participants experiences in nature and with peers that will help build a lasting foundation for life.

At both camps, the attendance fee varies between $550 and $650 depending upon the selected week (four nights).

To learn more about Camp Hollywoodland, call 323-467-7193 or email Its website is

For information about Griffith Park Boys’ Camp, email

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Category: People

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