It may be fall, but nobody has told that to the weather gods in southern California. Most of us have been loving the endless summer up here at Camp Stevens, since it means tomatoes are still rolling in from the farm, and we can all still wear flip flops. Here is what else September meant at Camp Stevens:
School Groups Galore!: Since the end of summer camp, we have hosted over 500 6th-12th grade students for teambuilding and outdoor education retreats. We love spending time out on the trails, on the ropes course, and in the cabins with these students!
On-the-Job Training: Our new “winterns” (Resident Winter Intern Staff) are killing it, alternating between staffing the aforementioned school groups and hosting our retreat center guests on the weekend. Take a second to go to our website to find out more about Caden, David, Lauren, Olivia, and Sierra.
Welcome Zeke!: Talk about on-the-job training! Our new Assistant Chef, Zeke, joined us at the end of August from Michigan, and has been learning the lay of the land – and cooked for two full weeks on his own while Chef Neil was off.
Thinking Big: After gathering input all summer-long from our network of supporters (that’s you!), board and staff, we have started work on a Strategic Plan to guide Camp Stevens in the next 5-10 years. Exciting things are on the way – stay tuned!
Tomatoes: We have so many of these, they deserve their own bullet point! Over 600 pounds of gorgeous, delicious heirloom tomatoes have been harvested in the last month, and we are using them anywhere and everywhere we can!
WWOOF: Farm & Garden Director Ryan has recently got Camp Stevens signed up on WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – which connects volunteers with host farms. Joel, our first volunteer, has been with us for most of the month, harvesting, weeding, and helping Ryan keep up with the busyness that is the pre-winter season.
Canned Goods: Sometimes there’s more coming in from the farm and gardens than the kitchen can use. All summer and into September, Ryan has been canning pickles, jams, hot sauce and tomatoes from the abundance of plums, peaches, grapes, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. We’re able to sell canned goods in our Emporium, and store both fresh and canned goods in our relatively-new, solar-powered root cellar.
Retreat Center Guests: We hosted two St. Andrew’s Family Camps, from Episcopal churches in Pacific Beach and in Fullerton. We also welcomed Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church’s Family Camp and Christie’s Place, an amazing non-profit working to empower women, children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS.
In summary: It’s been quite the month! Let’s see what October has in store…
By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer. – Helen Hunt Jackson