When I first stepped onto the grounds at Bearskin Meadow Camp in 2003 as the newly hired Camp Director, I knew I was standing in a sacred place. The smell of the mountain air, the deafening quiet (before camp sessions began!), and the rugged beauty of the terrain were overwhelming. I remember standing still in the center of Olney Circle and taking a pause to realize and appreciate the thousands of hands that went into building and maintaining the camp. All of the camp’s structures bore witness to the passage of time and the multitude of life-changing moments that occurred each summer “up on the hill”. I felt the walls had memories, and if only they could talk.
Since that summer in 2003, the Bearskin Meadow Camp facility has undergone many upgrades to ensure we are opening our arms to as many participants as possible. If you were to visit today, you would see many familiar sites from decades ago—the open-air sleeping decks, the pool, dining hall and, of course, campfire circle. You would also note some newer additions like Doc’s Place (a well-equipped infirmary and teaching area) and Ellen’s Place (indoor housing for our families with very young children). Most importantly, the feeling of camp remains: that sense of belonging, relief, and joy that we all feel when we are surrounded by “our people” in such a spectacular environment.
Behind the structures that make Bearskin Meadow Camp, come significant structural improvements that we must do to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission in the safe, welcoming, environment that is our camp. The damage from the drought, the Rough Fire, and last year’s extreme winter are undeniable and have left their mark. From replacing the Craft Hall roof, to rebuilding the washed-out archery bridge…there is much work to be done.
In the spirit of Doc and Ellen, our founders and matriarchs, we look forward to digging in and doing the hard work to ensure that camp stands for another 81 summers. Over the next two years, DYF will undertake $309,500 of facility improvements to “Beautify Bearskin” and I’m thrilled to share with you that $88,000 has already been committed by generous DYF donors. I invite you to join us in this ambitious plan—your investment will have an immediate impact for our T1D campers and their families and those to come in the future.
We welcome the opportunity to answer questions and share more information. Please contact DYF’s Director of Development, Christi Rossi, at email@example.com or 925.680.4994 x104. As always, thank you for your support.