Have you visited Camp Stevens in October before? It can be wet, chilly and a premature welcome to winter, or – as it was this year – it can make us wonder why the pool isn’t still open. We took advantage of the extended warm weather to eat tomatoes, spend plenty of time outdoors, and prepare our facilities for the coming cold.
Here’s what October looked like up here in Julian:
- A band of adventurers a dozen strong headed down to Baja California for a week of camping on the shore of the Sea of Cortez. This is one of our most popular programs – and if you check out the pictures, I’m sure you’ll see why. We’re making the trip one day longer in 2015 – dates are available on the website.
- We hosted our 4th annual “Hoes Down!” Family Harvest Weekend. For the first time, this weekend was big enough that it took over all of camp, and we made full use of it, making pinecone bird feeders, puppets, caramel apples, tie dye & silkscreened shirts and paper, when we weren’t sack racing, apple bobbing, beer/wine/hot chocolate tasting, photo boothing and more. We’ve been so inspired by the success and fun of Harvest Weekend, we’re introducing a Spring Family Camp in 2015. Stay tuned for details!
- The inaugural Friends Weekend was held, honoring and gathering input from some of our most generous and loyal donors. We introduced our new mission statement, core values and strategic plan (formal announcement coming soon), toured the camp as a drop of water, silkscreened, and enjoyed the company of fellow lovers of Camp Stevens.
- During Friends Weekend, we dedicated a beautiful new baptismal font in the Chapel. The font was given in honor of Fran Bartlett and her husband, longtime Thanksgiving Family Camp chaplain, The Rev. Canon Art Bartlett, and was designed by James Hubbell.
- Our new staff is continuing to earn their rock star reputation – in more ways than one! Throughout October, they worked outdoor education and teambuilding programs, one right after (and right on top) of one another. And the month ended on Halloween, with a Band of Winterns (our nickname for Winter Interns), and bodyguard, as played by our Assistant Chef, Zeke. Lookin’ good, guys!
- On Halloween, right before the first frost, our winterns and WWOOF volunteer Joel, harvested over 1400 pounds of squash and tomatoes. That should last us for awhile!
- We finalized summer camp dates for 2015 – you can find those on the website. Online registration will open in January, and we’re looking forward to making this summer our best yet.
As we head into the holidays and the retreat season slows down, we’re looking forward to the opportunities to tidy up, do some training, and plan for 2015. If you haven’t visited yet in 2014, we still have a few spots left in Thanksgiving Family Camp, the final program of the year. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you in 2015!