April 10-14, 2017 (Monday-Friday)
We enthusiastically invite middle school and high school aged youth (ages 12-18) to our 4th annual Spring Service Learning Camp, a partnership of Quaker Oaks Farm, the Wukchumni Tribe, and Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Programs (Friends/Quakers).
This is an opportunity for Native and Non-Native youth and adults to gather together on the land, share who we are and where we come from, learn history not usually taught in school, practice local Wukchumni traditions, interact with Tribal Elders, participate in a sweat lodge ceremony and many other fun activities.
Our focus this year will be on the land, water and people of this place. We will trace the source of our water upstream and consider how we can all be Water Protectors. We will work together to plant more pollinator habitat here, installing drought-tolerant native plants using a method that campers can easily then do at home. And we will share our histories and love one another across seeming divides, all through fun, interactive activities.
Come learn, make friends and have fun!
Camp is full at this time. If you would like to be placed on a wait list please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need your help to make camp a reality for all who would like to participate regardless of ability to pay. Please make a tax deductible contribution to support Camp at Quaker Oaks Farm.
Donations can be easily made via PayPal through the donate link in the sidebar or by Clicking Here. Does our employer offer a match for your donations? Nominate Quaker Oaks Farm and increase your impact!
Donations can also be mailed to Quaker Oaks Farm Camp 17216 Ave 296, Visalia CA 93292. Please note Camp in the memo line.
On line registration and payment of a deposit is quick and easy. If you are not able to register on line click here for a hard copy to print and mail. 2017-camp-registration
Register early to reserve your spot in camp.
Flyer: 2017-qof-spring-learning-camp-flyer-2-10 Please share with others who may be interested.
Please join us in supporting this exciting work.
Can you help sponsor a youth to attend?
We offer camp on a sliding scale fee understanding that historic injustices have lasting consequences for many Native families. Money should not prevent any youth from attending. The cost of camp is kept low by the many volunteers who donate time. We are grateful for the generous support from the Bob Vogel Endowment. We need to raise an additional $3,000 to keep camp open to all who wish to attend. Your donation of $300 will cover the cost of one youth to attend, but any amount will make a difference.
Camp felt like a wonderful success in so many ways! We had 28 youth, 12 of whom were returning from the previous year.
“I loved camp, it was a beautiful fun bonding experience.”
“I have never felt such a vast amount of love, comfort, joy and sadness in my life. It felt like I had known these girls forever, it was the most beautiful powerful thing I have ever experienced in my life.”
“It was so amazing words can’t describe the love here.”
Camper evaluation forms, 2016
This speaks to the power of the experience and the importance for young people to come together and address both the pain they have experienced in their lives and ways to heal through loving community and cultural connections. The curriculum was based on the Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) and looks at historic trauma of indigenous people and how that trauma continues to affect us today, as well as ways we can heal ourselves and our world. A sense of belonging, recognizing our gifts, understanding of interdependence and giving back to the community are all central themes explored in hands on activities and our field trip to Mission San Luis Obispo and Morro rock.
At Mission San Luis Obispo we met Fred Collins, administrator for the Northern Chumash Tribe. Here we heard about the tragic losses the Chumash people suffered when the mission came to this area. The pain was palpable as Fred and Lalo Franco spoke about the impact of the missions on their ancestors. Those that wanted to toured the mission.
We then took the bus out to Los Oso to the Northern Chumash Tribal Council farm where we feasted on strawberries grown in vertical tubes in a one acre greenhouse. It was inspiring to see this innovative way of growing an organic high cash crop to finance the needs of the Norther Chumash Tribal Council.
From there we went to the beach at Morro Rock. This was the first visit to the ocean for some of these young people and it was all too short! We ended the day hearing Chumash stories of Morro Rock as the bridge to the next world.
To see and hear about camp in the words of the youth, see our 8 minute video on YouTube created by Genevieve Kules and the youth who participated in camp in 2015 at https://youtu.be/RG2f8vGdC0g .
Here are a few of the take home lessons from Spring Service Learning Camp in the words of teens who attended in 2015:
One thing I will do differently at home because of what I learned at camp:
“Find more time to really appreciate nature.”
“Try to be more comfortable opening up to other people.”
When my friends and family ask about camp I will probably tell them:
“I loved it want to go back next year” “I felt like that was where I belonged”
We had such fun and learned so much together!