Monte Toyon

Secluded among coastal redwoods just inland from the shores of Monterey Bay, Monte Toyon is an inviting camp and conference center in Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California. We have been holding Family Week at this location since 2016. 

This page gives information about the spaces most utilized by Family Week; the video below has more information about Monte Toyon.

Monte Toyon
220 Cloister Lane
Aptos, CA 95503
Phone: 831-688-5420

Monte Toyon driving directions
Monte Toyon video

Activity Spaces

Helgesson Dance Hall

The majority of our full-community gathering and dancing will be held in Helgesson Hall. It is the heart of camp, with a beautiful dance floor, soaring ceiling, a stage at one end, couches at the other, and excellent air circulation. It is filled with musical instruments, dance shoes, tea and coffee, jigsaw puzzles, and silent auction offerings even when not teeming with dancers, musicians, and community.

In accordance with Monte Toyon rules and respect for their neighbors, after 10pm each night we will switch to unamplified music and close the doors and windows. 

The generous deck outside and the adjacent crafting picnic tables provide lots of places socialize near the music and to eat your afternoon Snack Shop ice cream. 

Morning classes will also use more of the rooms and spaces around camp including the Fireside room in the dining hall, the basketball court, the Amphitheater, the Program Office, Hollidge Hall across the road, and the picnic tables in the Crafting Clearing. Other than Silverthorn Chapel, most spaces aren’t more than a 5-10 minute walk from each other. The main path through camp is paved and on an incline.

Ping pong, volleyball, a low ropes course, stilt walking areas, meadow, Silverton chapel, and hiking paths are all well utilized options for afternoon activities. 


Indoor Rooms

Most campers will be housed in one of three buildings.

Cary Lodge is the closest lodging to the dance hall and has eight 4-person rooms with shared bathrooms on each of two floors and an open common room with couches. The 4-person rooms have single-mattress built-in bunks, an open closet, mirror, table, and chair. Preference is given to families with younger children and campers with mobility issues. At least two of the bathrooms in Cary Lodge will be designated gender-free. 

Morris Dorm and Miller Dorm are a 5-minute walk further up the main path. They have rooms that can house 6-10 people each in relatively tightly packed bunk beds. Not all of these beds will be filled in each room. Bathrooms at Morris and Miller are nearby across an outdoor deck. Some of these bathrooms will also be designated gender-free.

Couples, staff, and single folks may be assigned roommates. If you would like to be housed in the same dorm or room as specific other campers, please request that on your registration form.

We make every attempt to house each family/person as best suits their needs and when possible aim to match cabin buddies in the same age group class.

All families with children age 12 and under are assigned to Monte Toyon’s dorms and rooms so that the Roving Babysitters have access to their accommodations. All rooms have standard electric plugs, though extension cords and splitters may be useful, particularly in Miller and Morris. There are no laundry facilities. Families should bring any special equipment needed for the care of their children such as cribs. Upper bunks may be not be easily accessible to shorter children.

More detailed information about the lodging, including pictures of the room interiors, can be found on the Monte Toyon website linked above.

Teen Town

Teens age 13 and up, with the permission of their parent or guardian, have the option of sleeping in Teen Town.

At Monte Toyon, this involves pitching camp-provided open-air tents and setting up cots, so extra warm pajamas and bedding are advised. An adult will be staying in the Teen Town tent area. The nearest bathrooms (attached to the Dining Hall) do not have showers. Teens staying in teen town are expected to follow camp rules regarding behavior and bedtimes. Please contact our registrar to discuss teen housing if you have any questions.

Adult Tents & RVs

Monte Toyon has a few tent sites under the redwoods available for adults only. We suggest that you bring a ground cloth for your tent and warm bedding. RVs must be registered in advance and may be parked only in a limited number of designated areas. 

Please mention in your registration if you are interested in tenting or staying in an RV.


Monte Toyon Dining

Monte Toyon serves three buffet style meals daily with seating indoors in the dining hall or immediately outside at picnic tables, with vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, and salad options available. Pictures of the dining can be found on the Monte Toyon site, linked above. There are a few restaurant-style wooden high chairs and a few booster seats in the dining room. 

Helping to clean up the dining hall and other eating spaces is expected of all groups using Monte Toyon, and accomplished in part by all Family Week campers age 8 and up during their daily chore.

Family Week also provides supplemental mid-morning snacks for the children’s classes and late night snacks for those at the evening dance, with the help of its Work Trade crew. Coffee and tea are also available several times a day.

Another beloved tradition, run almost entirely by the teens, is the Snack Shop. It sells ice cream, snacks, and juice drinks briefly every afternoon and evening.

You are welcome to bring your own snacks as well, however Monte Toyon is a nut-free facility, so please do not bring food with nuts.

There is a limited amount of shared refrigerator space for campers with special need diets that cannot be fully accommodated by the Monte Toyon kitchen. Please indicate on your registration form if you may need access to this.

Environment & Safety


In addition to the areas right in camp, Monte Toyon has an rich set of hiking paths and a beautiful rhododendron garden.

Scenic redwoods let us escape the typical California summer heat.  Enjoy cool mornings and warm sunny afternoons taking classes, and tranquil evenings under the stars.  Fog rolls in as our natural temperature control. You won’t need to pack your swimsuit or ski pants!

The trails of Monte Toyon

Safety  Advice and Rules

The natural environment is one of the highlights of camp, so the usual hazards of summer life exist — please discuss mosquitoes, ticks, snakes, and poison oak with your child(ren). Avoid sunburn by wearing sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, or finding shady areas.

Everyone is free to explore the amazing environment and take their inspiration, but please help your children respect and care for the trees, undergrowth, and paths. Some areas are off limits until children demonstrate their mastery of safety protocols administered by our Camp Safety Officer.

Safety comes first! All parents are deputized to intervene where needed in the name of safety.

First Aid:

We have a first aid room and a camp safety officer available for advice. There is an urgent care clinic in Aptos and a hospital in Santa Cruz. If you have first aid training and are willing to be called on in the case of an emergency at camp, please let us know in your registration. 


No pets are allowed. Service animals are excepted.


No smoking is allowed in camp. Additionally, no flame lanterns (including propane) or candles are allowed in camp. And of course, no fireworks or sparklers. 

Drugs and Alcohol:

The legal age for consumption of alcohol or marijuana in California is 21 years. Parents and guardians are responsible for making sure that their children do not drink alcohol or use drugs at camp.


Hikers must let someone else in camp know when and where they are going and not hike alone (groups of three are the preferred minimum).