2019 Capital CAMPaign Annual Report

Hi dear Campers and Staff!

This summer will be 8 years since The Rim Fire – hard to believe! It can feel like both a lifetime ago and also like yesterday that we were sitting by the Tuolumne River. The great news is the rebuilding is going well, on schedule, and the buildings are looking beautiful!

In 2019, we learned exactly what insurance and FEMA would and would not cover in regards to the rebuilding effort. To fill this gap, we launched a one year Rebuilding Capital CAMPaign – and you responded magnificently and generously! These unfunded gaps include new shade structures to keep key areas in Main Camp cool, replanting and buying tall trees, restoring trails, and more.

We are very happy to provide you with our detailed CAMPaign Report where you will see how much was raised, what we have been able to fund so far, and what is still yet to be funded. Remember that all projects must be professionally designed and engineered in order to pass insurance reviews and code regulations. What we can do with volunteers, we have done and will continue to do.

We are very proud of our camper community and how you have made such a major difference in getting Camp back open for all of us to enjoy!

There’s a ton of work ahead, in this next 11 months, to have Camp reopen as we remember it. This work includes replanting 22 acres with 6000 trees (including taller trees in Main Camp), clearing and rebuilding our trails, and supporting the City to reach new staff, mentoring them in the traditions, songs, art and culture of Camp.

Yes, that is a lot of work…but we have confidence that together we can do anything. We are so grateful to each and every one of you who continue to support getting Camp reopened and back in our lives.

In Camp Spirit,

Scott

 

Scott Gelfand

Executive Director

Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp

2021 Rebuilding Campaign Report

Friends Weekend is Aug 20 – 23rd! We’re Back to Camp!

Hi dear Campers and Friends… FOBTC is so excited that we are heading back to the beauty of Echo Lake Camp for a truly special weekend in August! This summer we are partnering with The Tuolumne Blues weekenders, featuring Tamsen Donner Band and live music in one incredible weekend!

FOBTC’s almost 40 year tradition of hosting a weekend filled with Camp Spirit, and wine, and Happy Hours, and activities continues! Campers were so excited to come back to LIFE again after missing camp in 2020 that tents filled up within 2 days! We still have room for friends to join someone with an existing tent reservation, but we are all sold out of tents and have a waiting list.

Click HERE for more information, or if you are trying to join an existing reservation.

2021 – a great year ahead

Hi friends… we hope this finds you safe and healthy in this pandemic,
and at the start of this new year!

We have high hopes for the year ahead.. and here at FOBTC, it is really the next 18 months we’re focused on.
With Camp still on schedule to open June 2022, there is an immense amount of work to be done
over the next year and a half!

We have committees doing detailed work on Nature Restoration and Stewardship, Trail Rebuilding, Camp Traditions and Spirit, Rebuilding projects like shade structures, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

All these projects are being led with the goal of having Camp feel like the Camp we left 8 years ago; bringing back the forest environment with tall trees, planting thousands of 1 ft. pluggers, 2nd story plants like dogwoods, ground cover, etc; providing comfortable sitting and playing areas with shade structures; seeing the art and decor that was at camp, having staff mentored with traditions and activities, and supported so that that first summer is not so overwhelming for new staff; and doing outreach to introduce camp to new staff and campers, from various neighborhoods of Berkeley, and welcoming them with an inclusive environment..

We thought we’d show off recent photos taken on the progress of the rebuilding of camp! It is going really well. We can see Camp sprouting up from the ground and being reborn in front of our very eyes..

The new Staff Cabins across the road:

The new Recreation Hall down by the river:

There is a lot of work to get done before June 2022, but we couldn’t be any more excited to be doing it!

Scott Gelfand
Executive Director
Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp

August 2020 – Virtual Camp Events to keep you feeling CAMP!

Announcements… what a crazy summer 2020 is for the planet, and we’re all missing CAMP! So we thought to bring you some camp spirit directly to your home – please JOIN us and we’ll all get through this summer together!

Fri August 14th 7pm – 8pm Table Night! We are still looking to sign up more family songs, skits, magic tricks, and parody’s, so email scott@fobtc.com right away to get on the list! We’ll email the zoom room details to everyone if this night is a go!

Sat Aug 22nd 10am – 11am Office Hours in the Green Chairs Circle! This week features our Traditions, Art, Activities, and Staff Mentoring Committee with Marcie Holmes, discussing plans to make sure Camp feels and sounds and has the same Tuolumne Spirit when we return after almost a decade away!

Sun Aug 23rd 6:30pm – 7:30pm CAMPfire! Join former staff members and bring your own smores as we sing the classics!

See you in the Green Chairs – Sat July 25th, 10am!

We want to hear your thoughts about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Camp!

Bring your coffee and join Meka Tull, Rachel Amare, and Phil Coffin at the green chairs on Saturday, July 25th, 10am-11am to chat about how we can support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive staff and camper community, where everyone feels safe and welcome. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences.

To join the Zoom meeting, please click here 

To join by Telephone, dial 669-900-9128.   Enter Meeting ID: 960 5868 5548

It’s Time – our Third Bell CAMPaign begins!

Hi campers and staff!!! In this summer of Covid 19, we pray your families and loved ones are safe and healthy. We are ALL missing our usual lives, and especially our glorious summers at Camp!

But we do have some good news to share – we can almost hear the Third Bell! The rebuilding of our beloved Berkeley Tuolumne Family Camp broke ground on May 26, 2020! Click here to view the drawings of new Camp Tuolumne. Read about the latest from the City of Berkeley here. In the seven years since the fire, campers and FOBTC tirelessly advocated and organized to bring Camp back, and now it’s happening!

The buildings and utilities will begin construction this summer.  We’re hoping for a next tree planting weekend with the USFS in mid-December (weather permitting). We’re buying trees and growing them already and hosting them at Mountain Sage Nursery in Groveland. We’re working with Camp architects Siegel and Strain on a new shade structure over the playground, and over the green circle of chairs. We’ve polled campers and staff as to what is important to them when we return to camp.

We’re hosting virtual Office Hours once a month in the Green Circle of Chairs (Zoom).. we’re organizing virtual Camp Spirit activities to bring Camp to your home this summer.. BINGO, Campfire, and Table Night.

But we know our work isn’t done unless Camp also feels like Camp again when it opens. We need to make sure the physical space comes alive with the traditions, spirit, and joy that is Camp Tuolumne.

So we’ve begun a new CAMPaign – The Third Bell CAMPaign – to raise support to make your vision for Camp a reality. The Friends have mapped out a 3-year strategic plan that will:

    1. Steward nature at Camp to provide beauty, shade, and safety. The fire drastically changed the landscape in and around Camp. We need to plant 10,000 more trees and revegetate 7 acres of riparian habitat, restore the trails around Camp, provide year-round caretaking to nurture our seedlings, and create a summer Nature Center to provide enriching environmental education to campers of all ages.
    2. Re-establish Camp traditions and support staff training, so that all campers feel like they’ve returned to the camp they love, with the songs, activities, art, and traditions they remember.
    3. Support inclusion and diversity of staff and campers, to reflect the values of the BTC community.
    4. Continue to support the rebuild with essential funds, advice, and partnerships with City, state, and federal agencies to enhance the camper experience.

Please check out our Third Bell CAMPaign page, and let us know how you may like to be involved. You can volunteer for our events, support with a contribution, attend our events and let us know your thoughts, and just cheer us on from the sidelines.. whatever works for you.

We look forward to hearing how we can support your love for camp!

Scotty

Executive Director

Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp

It’s…BINGO Night! Bring Camp into your home on Friday!

Friday, June 26th 7pm-8pm

It’s fun, it’s free, it’s Camp!

To kick off the start of summer, FOBTC is bringing Camp to you. We’re hosting a virtual Bingo Night this Friday! Games will be led by campers and staff, Boardmember Queen-Janine will be rolling the numbers, and winners will receive an FOBTC mystery gift bag of goodies in the mail. Tie-dye garb encouraged. Tune in with the whole family and join the fun! The first 100 campers to sign up get to play.

Here’s how it works:

To register & download your personal your personal Bingo card now, CLICK HERE

(One card per email/player, first come, first serve. Reserve soon!)

To join the virtual game on Friday, CLICK HERE

See you in the Dining Hall, 7pm on Friday!

Campers Raise a Glass, Get the Scoop at Virtual Happy Hour

Thank you to everyone who tuned in to the Virtual Happy Hour on May 21 to hear all the construction details from Liza McNulty, the City’s manager for the Camp rebuild project.

A big shout-out for the Chat pod! The enthusiasm and questions flooded in from about a hundred campers and staff. Liza, Steve, and Scott shared detailed design plans and fielded questions between sips of their favorite beverages.

Volleyball? Dinner Bell? Where will Arts & Crafts be? Will the Dining Hall overlook the river? What’s the plan for restoring vegetation? How long will the rebuild take? Stone showers? Accessibility? Parking? Where will staff housing be? Will the beaches be restored? They answered them all, and dozens more.

If you missed it, CLICK HERE FOR THE RECORDING. It’s worth the watch—it’s informative, it’s fun, it’s Camp!

Virtual Groundbreaking Marks a Huge Milestone

The rebuilding of Camp begins! We’ve waited so long for this day…

Over 200 campers tuned in on May 15, 2020 to celebrate a historic milestone – the City of Berkeley is set to break ground on the reconstruction of Camp on Tuesday, May 26!

To mark the occasion, the City hosted a ceremonial virtual groundbreaking on Zoom, complete with hardhats and a backdrop of Camp. Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arreguin and staff from the City and US Forest Service acknowledged the seven years of hard work that has brought us to this moment, and thanked the community for their commitment to rebuilding and reopening Camp Tuolumne. It begins!

Welcome Serena Fox – our new Development and Communications Director

We have great news to share! We are very excited to welcome the newest addition to the FOBTC team, Serena Fox!

Serena is on board to help guide the development and fundraising efforts to rebuild and reopen Camp Tuolumne as we move into the next stage of this journey to get back to the river together. Serena and her family are 20-year campers, and she is passionate about camp culture and the special role it played in her kids’ lives growing up. She has worked as a federal lobbyist and grant-writer for environmental organizations, and served two years as Associate Development Director for the Trust for Public Land, where she managed donor cultivation and capital campaigns. As a former content strategist and editorial director for Adobe and Pearson Education, Serena brings an expertise in social media and communications. We are thrilled to have her join our fundraising team!

Feel free to email her at serena@fobtc.com and welcome her to The Friends!