Jefunira Camp was founded in 1991
by Jeff and Ira.

The story of Jefunira Camp starts in 1986 when I met my freshman roommate, Ira. It turned out to be a pretty good match and we became close friends. After graduation, we wanted to take a break before heading off to graduate school. Both of us loved working at summer camp and decided that we would start our own camp. Our first summer we had eight campers. The next summer we grew to 15 campers and hired our first counselor. The rest, as they say, is history.

Initially, camp had a different name.  But because Ira and I were such big parts of camp, everyone called it Jeff and Ira camp. With a bit of imagination Jeff and Ira Camp became Jefunira Camp.  Around the time we changed the name to Jefunira Camp, we decided that running camp was something we wanted to do long term. In order to ensure that we are following all of the best practices and procedures of an outstanding camp, we decided to seek accreditation from the American Camp Association (ACA). Several years after we received our ACA Accreditation, we chose to become members of the Western Association of Independent Camp (WAIC). WAIC provides independent camp owners with a professional network and supports that help all members ensure that every camper has the best possible camp experience.

After several years of running the camp together, Ira decide that he was ready to return to graduate school. He went on to get his PhD. from Stanford University in Education.  Shortly after he left, I hired a counselor named Mary. After several years as a counselor, I offered Mary a director position. She accepted and this summer will be her 17th year at Jefunira Camp.  For many years, Mary worked at camp during the summer and taught elementary school in San Francisco during the off season. After she had her first child, she decided to leave teaching and come to work at Jefunira Camp full time.


Our senior team is at the heart of Jefunira Camp.

Jeff Gamble - Jefunira Senior Team

Jeff Gamble

Camp Director & Founder

Jeff was born in Columbus, Ohio on the campus of Ohio State University.  When he was two years old his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland where he grew up and spent his summers attending and then working at summer camps.

After graduating high school in 1986, he moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University.  He started university with the intention of becoming a doctor.  But he found his true calling in working with children.  After university, he and his freshman roommate, Ira, decided to start a day camp, Jefunira Camp.

Jeff has been running Jefunira Camp since its inception.  Jeff is married to Terri and has three amazing children, Jayson, Jared, and Jolie.

Mary McClain - Jefunira Senior Team

Mary McClain

Camp Director

This summer will be Mary’s nineteenth at Jefunira! After teaching for ten years in San Francisco, Mary is so so lucky because she now spends her summers AND the off season with Jefunira Camp! She is constantly working with Jeff to make Jefunira the best camp ever!

She also spends lots of time reading, playing, and laughing with her toddler son, Owen. When not chasing after Owen or playing at Jefunira Camp, Mary can be found running around on the soccer field, reading a good book, or rooting for the SF Giants at AT&T Park!

Every activity at Jefunira is Mary’s favorite activity at camp but she thinks she is most looking forward to the peaceful calm during House of Cards and the hysterical laughter during Tip the Bucket. You’ll be able to find her easily this summer in her unique tie dye shirts or singing on the picnic table at story time. She cannot wait to see the familiar faces of the returning campers and is so excited to meet all of the new friends who will be joining us this year. (Owen will be back to give out high-fives too!)


Our program is built around a simple and proven philosophy: to provide a nurturing, safe, and fun camp experience for all children.