May flew by! Here’s a little bit of what’s been happening with us here at Camp Stevens:
- As a follow-up to March’s workshop focused on building community, in May, Beth and Ryan led a workshop on building soil at St Margaret’s in San Juan Capistrano. These workshops were designed to help congregations thinking about starting church gardens, in partnership with the Diocese of Los Angeles’s Seeds of Hope program.
- On May 5, drilling began on our new well. The well is on Pump Road, which runs parallel to the streambed and Highway 78, near the path to the Star Field overnight spot. Drilled down to 750 feet, a water sample was taken last week to test for potability, and once we get the go ahead on the water’s safety, we’ll begin pumping and using that water around the property. Right now, as our existing wells continue to dry up, we are operating on less than 10 gallons pumped per minute. We expect this essential and unexpected new well project to cost $60,000, and your contribution is appreciated.
- We hosted the first – of hopefully many! – volunteer work days with our Board of Advisors, who worked with Beth and Ryan to construct a new garden fence and a meeting space in the Kitchen Garden.
- Mother’s Day Weekend has a long tradition of Camp Stevens weddings, and this year, Marea and Kristy’s beautiful camping-themed wedding carried that on.
- The spring is our “outdoor ed” season, and during May we hosted four different schools for our final month of program. Campers had a great time exploring the trails and roasting marshmallows, and the staff sang a whole lot of ‘Long Tall Texan.’
- The farm and gardens have started exploding with deliciousness! Radishes, turnips, arugula, lettuce and spinach are all rolling in with regularity from the farm, and in the Kitchen Garden, we had a boon of cherries, and are now seeing the stone fruits (apricots, plums, peaches) ripen to perfection.
- We welcomed families from all over southern California to Memorial Day Family Camp, for a long weekend of swimming, archery, stories in the treehouse, hiking, relaxing on the lawn, planting tomatoes, making applesauce and more. It’s always one of our favorite weekends of the year, and this year the weather cooperated perfectly!
- The hiring of summer staff is a long process, and it wrapped up in May with the announcement of our resident summer staff members. We’re so excited about this crew! We have folks coming from all over the country, with a wide variety of interests and expertise, and just know they’re going to make it an amazing summer.
- Our retreat center season is winding to a close, with just two final retreats in June. The last weekend of May, Sarah hosted two wonderful women’s groups. We love women’s retreats as much as they love the Camp Stevens bread!
As another “winter” season winds down (Here, pretty much anything that’s not summer is winter – no matter that it’s 75 degrees out!), please join us in saying a huge “Thank you!” to the staff that are leaving us this season: Lindsay, Greg, Ashley, Jacob and Sarah. Your work has been appreciated, and we will miss you!