2211 Pacific Beach Dr.

San Diego, CA. 92109

+1 858-581-4200

Reservations

Free Camping program

For California Underserved Youth and Families

Free Camping Program for Underserved Youth and Families

Campland on the Bay® (Campland) is excited to provide a free camping program for California underserved youth and families in cooperation with the California Coastal Commission to further diversity, equity, and inclusion for underrepresented populations to experience camping in Mission Bay.

Please note:  We are taking applications for camping in 2023.

CAMPLAND’S FREE CAMPING PROGRAM OFFERINGS

Campland on the Bay is pleased to offer certain Participants and participating Organizations (both as defined below) the following:

  • Free Campsite Rentals based on availability throughout the year.
  • Access to Resort Amenities and Activities Free of Charge.  Free amenities include the playground, basketball/sports court, skateboard park (participant provided helmets required), Central Park, outdoor ping pong table, beach volleyball court, dog park, gym/fitness center, reservable event tent, and supervised kids’ activities. Bicycle rentals and any food and beverage services will be charged at the same rate for Participants as for general guests.
  • Free Vehicle Parking for up to 2 vehicles per rented campsite.
  • Recreational Marine Equipment and Vehicle Storage during or within 7 days of any camping reservations.
  • Free Watercraft Rentals to enjoy the bay. This includes Campland Marina (but not third-party) rentals of pedal boats, kayaks, and pontoon boats on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Reimbursed Transportation Costs for approved Organizations to transport Participants to and from Campland on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Camping Gear Free of Charge – upon request, and subject to availability, Campland will provide commonly used camping gear during the stay including tents, sleeping mats, camping chairs, camp stoves, flashlights, and binoculars. Participants or Organizations should pre-reserve all camping gear when reservations are made. This gear must be returned at the end of the stay.
    • Sleeping Bags – in the interest of promoting the health and safety of campers, staff, and guests, Participants will be asked to bring the following if possible: their own sleeping bags and/or other bedding, blankets, pillows, etc.  Participants who are experiencing severe economic hardships certified by the Participant or verified by an Organization may apply to have a free sleeping bag, liner or bedroll purchased for them (which they can keep for their own use as well as any future camping).  Sleeping bags can also be requested when participants are completing the Free Camping Program Application form.

ELIGIBILITY

As part of Campland’s commitment to support diversity and access to camping, this Free Camping program is limited to California underserved youth and families:

  1. Underserved youth and families – means individuals or groups that have been historically excluded from accessing the benefits of coastal opportunities and/or disproportionately impacted by environmental burdens and includes low-income households; Black, Indigenous, and people of color; people with disabilities; youth who attend Title 1 schools (and their caregiver/s); and foster and transition age youth.
  2. Low Income individuals and families – “low income” is calculated using standards such as the Area Median Household Income for the county income limits as published by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Federal Poverty Level, and housing burden calculations published by the CalEPA Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment. For example, a household of 4 in San Diego County with an annual income of $97,000 or less is considered low income by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
  3. Participants are individual, families or groups who are eligible to participate in the program based on the defined criteria for underserved youth and families and who have  certified their eligibility to Campland or had such eligibility verified by an Organization.
  4. Organizations – means a school, nonprofit organization, or government agency that organizes, coordinates, supervises or refers groups or program Participants who are eligible underserved California youth and/or families. 
girls kayaking at campland

This program is for California residents only. Proof of residency is required.

To be eligible for free camping, the individual, family, or group must qualify based on the definitions above.  It may be easiest for individuals to be qualified through an Organization but that is not required. Organizations that are currently participating include:

We are taking applications for the 2023 year only.

Come experience waterfront camping

Qualified Families & Individuals - Apply Now

To apply for Campland’s Free Camping Program, complete the Free Camping Program application form.  If you have questions you can email us at  freecampingprogram@campland.com or call 858-581-4265.

Please read our FAQ found below before calling or emailing us.

We look forward to introducing more people to waterfront camping along Mission Bay.

Click Here to Apply

Bring the underserved camping along Mission Bay

Organizations - Let's Work Together

Campland is actively looking for additional organizations which serve California underserved youth and families, including people with disabilities, and/or low-income individuals or families as defined above. Campland looks forward to introducing underrepresented populations to camping on Mission Bay! We are taking applications for 2023.

If you have any questions, you can email us at freecampingprogram@campland.com or call 858-581-4265.

Learn More

All Participants and their guests must comply with Campland’s Rules, Regulations, and Policies, which can be found here.

This Free Camping Program is provided in cooperation with the California Coastal Commission and any information provided for participation in the Program may be shared with the California Coastal Commission.  Please note that campsite reservations, camping gear, watercraft rentals and Organization transportation costs are all subject to availability, the terms of the Free Camping Program and allocated funding.

FAQ- Free Camping Program Frequently Asked Questions

California individuals and families interested in the Campland on the Bay Free Camping Program should complete the Campland on the Bay Free Camping Program Application Form found here.  They can also work with a participating organization to qualify found here.

Organizations interested in participated can complete the Inquiry form for free camping found here.

Campland’s free camping program includes:

  • Free Campsite Rentals based on availability throughout the year.
  • Resort Amenities and Activities Free of Charge.  Free amenities include the playground, basketball/sports court, skateboard park (participant provided helmets required), Central Park, outdoor ping pong table, beach volleyball court, dog park, gym/fitness center, reservable event tent, and supervised kids’ activities. Bicycle rentals and any food and beverage services will be charged at the same rate for Participants as for general guests.
  • Free Vehicle Parking for up to 2 vehicles per rented campsite.
  • Recreational Marine Equipment and Vehicle Storage during or within 7 days of any camping reservations.
  • Free Watercraft Rentals to enjoy the bay. This includes Campland Marina (but not third-party) rentals of pedal boats, kayaks, and pontoon boats on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Reimbursed Transportation Costs for approved Organizations to transport Participants to and from Campland on a first-come, first-served basis.  
  • Camping Gear Free of Charge – upon request, and subject to availability, Campland will provide commonly used camping gear including tents, sleeping mats, camping chairs, camp stoves, flashlights, and binoculars during the stay. Participants or Organizations should pre-reserve all camping gear when reservations are made. This gear must be returned at the end of the stay.
    • Sleeping Bags – in the interest of promoting the health and safety of campers, staff, and guests, Participants will be asked to bring the following if possible: their own sleeping bags and/or other bedding, blankets, pillows, etc.  Participants who are experiencing severe economic hardships certified by the Participant or verified by an Organization may apply to have a free sleeping bag, liner or bedroll purchased for them (which they can keep for their own use as well as any future camping). Sleeping bags can we requested when completing the Free Camping Program Application form.  They can also be requested by the organization individuals and families are applying through.

As part of Campland’s commitment to support diversity and access to camping, this free program is limited to California  underserved youth and families:

1.     Underserved youth and families – means individuals or groups that have been historically excluded from accessing the benefits of coastal opportunities and/or disproportionately impacted by environmental burdens and includes low-income households; Black, Indigenous, and people of color; people with disabilities; youth who attend Title 1 schools (and their caregiver/s); and foster and transition age youth.

2.     Low Income individuals and families – “low income” is calculated using standards such as the Area Median Household Income for the county and state income limits as published by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Federal Poverty Level, and housing burden calculations published by the CalEPA Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment.

3.     Participants are individuals, families or groups who are eligible to participate in the program based on the defined criteria for underserved youth and families and who have certified their eligibility to Campland or had such eligibility verified by an Organization.

4.     Organizations – means a school, nonprofit organization, or government agency that organizes, coordinates, supervises or refers groups or program Participants who are eligible underserved youth and/or families.

This program is for California residents only. Proof of residency is required.

Forms can be completed and submitted online.  Once submitted, the application will automatically be sent to Campland. You can also print, complete, scan and email the application to:  FreeCampingProgram@campland.com 

Application forms can also be turned in at the Registration Office, Attn:  Kim McAnally at Campland or mailed to:

Campland on the Bay

Attn:  Kim McAnally

2211 PACIFIC Beach Drive

San Diego, CA 92109

Online applications are found here.

Printable applications are found here.

We will respond within 5 business days of receiving it. Please be sure to provide the best contact information for us to get back to you. A Campland reservationist will contact the person designated on the free camping application form by phone to book dates based on availability.

Reservations can be made for up to 4 nights consecutively.  The maximum number of nights any Participant may utilize is 14 free camping nights in any calendar  year. 

Groups are not limited to a maximum number of free camping nights per year. 

All reservations are made subject to availability. A Campland reservationist will contact the person designated on the Free Camping Program Application to book dates based on availability. 

Please check to see if your organization is currently involved in this program.  Click here to see organizations currently involved.

We may be able work with other organizations who serve the underserved. Please have the organization reach out to us at freecampingprogram@campland.com or complete the interest form found here. 

This program is for California residents and their guests only. Proof of residency is required.

Once the reservation is confirmed and your camping dates are booked, we will provide the contact information to book watercraft rentals. You can then book watercraft reservations directly with a Marina staff member.

This includes Campland Marina (but not third-party) rentals of pedal boats, kayaks, and pontoon boats on a first-come, first-served basis.

All inquiries from Organizations should be emailed to: FreeCampingProgram@campland.com. Interested organizations can also call 858-581-4265.

Map of the Amenities

Discover all the amenities available at Campland on the Bay with this interactive map.

campland map background

Swim Platform
& Lagoon

Public Beach

Cantina Restaurant & Bar

Stage & Central Park

Pools & Spas

Sports Court

Basketball, Dodgeball, and PIckleball 

Friendly Bowl Skate Board Park

(helmets required)

Dogwood Park

Off-leash dog park

Huff & Puff Park

Children's Playground

Huff & Buff Gym

Watersports Office

Bike & Watercraft Rentals

Boat Ramp

Ice Cream Parlor

Marina

Boat Slips & Guest Slips available

Marina

Boat Slips & Guest Slips available

Market & Coffee

Groceries, Souvenirs, Conveniences & Coffee Stand

Laundromat

Video Arcade

White Tent

For special activities & events

Mission Bay Public Bike & Pedestrian Trail

Part of San Diego County trails network

Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve

Owned by City of San Diego

31 Public Parking Spaces for Coastal Access Only  (No guest parking or storage allowed)

ahh-oooo

Put Campland Under Your Tree