Kids Camp at SSC!

by SierraMerril

09 18, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After twelve wonderful, but long weeks of Stanford Sierra Family Camp, there is one last hurrah for the Stanford student summer staff before they head back to campus: Kids Camp! In early September, more than 100 fifth and sixth graders, along with approximately 15 chaperones, arrive at Camp for an unforgettable weekend. Half of the summer staff stay the extra two days to volunteer their time to guide nature walks, go boating and crawdad fishing, do art projects, host a campfire and sleep in cabins with kids. What are the highlights of the weekend for the kids? Ski boat rides with trained staff and the Saturday night dance!

Stanford Sierra Camp has many different boats for you to use on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Ski Boat rides are a highlight of the weekend for many of the kids!

Stanford Sierra Camp has been partnering with different schools for more than twenty years to host the two day and two night program. East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS) has been coming to Kids Camp for a weekend of outdoor adventure, environmental lessons and fun for approximately ten years.

Crawdad fishing is popular among young kids at Stanford Sierra Camp on Fallen Leaf Lake.

Crawdad Fishing at the Ski Dock is a popular activity during Kids Camp.

Kids Camp is an incentive program for EPACS students who meet grade, behavior and attendance criteria in the previous school year. Brant Bishop, Camp’s assistant director, has been designing and running Kids Camp for the past four summers, and it’s a highlight of his year. He says Kids Camp is a chance for Camp to give back to a community that is just minutes away from Stanford University and to fulfill Camp’s mission to “provide fun, safe and educational experiences in a unique wilderness environment.” For many EPACS students spending the weekend at Fallen Leaf Lake, Camp provides them with a number of first-time experiences like fun-yaking, hiking, and crawdad fishing.

Fun-yaking to Baby Beach

Fun-yaking on Fallen Leaf Lake is just one of the activities that is a new experience for most kids. 

Different from family camp when kids are accompanied by their parents, staff chaperone the kids close to 24 hours a day, and sleep in the cabins with them. This unique opportunity provides staff and students a chance to form real relationships and really get to know the kids in a short amount of time, says Macy Zardenata, a summer staffer who has volunteered at Kids Camp for the past two summers.

During Kids Camp, counselors lead kids on a naturalist boat ride on Camp's pontoon boat.

During Kids Camp, counselors lead kids on a naturalist boat ride to talk about Fallen Leaf Lake’s wildlife and the geology of the Tahoe Basin.

Ending the summer with Kids Camp is a great way for our staff to give back, act like a kid and cap off twelve weeks at Fallen Leaf Lake!

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