Oct 2019: Camp Update | Campaign reaches $850,000

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of campers, we are now at $850,000! Not only are we steps closer to the rebuilding of Camp Tuolumne, but we are closer to our $1 million goal to fund mature trees, shade and restore trails.

This is an incredible time for Camp Tuolumne. Together, we are rebuilding a camp that’s been cherished since the 1920’s so it can be enjoyed for generations to come. Our families will vacation here once again and we will watch our children or grandchildren grow up at Tuolumne.

So for us, the Rebuilding CAMPaign is more than fundraising. It’s about uniting the Tuolumne community. Our goal is to have every camper and former staff member participate in this movement. Whether that’s by making a gift, sharing this story or volunteering with us – we want everyone to be a part of this important moment.

To make a gift, click here.

 

Latest Update on Camp Tuolumne

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We talked with the City of Berkeley’s Capital Improvement Program Manager, Liza McNulty, about the progress that’s been made this summer with the reconstruction of Camp Tuolumne. Here are the latest updates:

  • The design phase is 90% complete
  • The City remains on track to advertise for construction bids this winter and begin construction in spring 2020
  • The City has submitted permit applications to State, Local and Federal agencies
  • Repairs on the 16 remaining tent cabins will begin this month, including replacement of fire-damaged elements, flood strengthening foundation retrofits, repairs and painting
  • Tree removal work is complete in Sun City and is in progress for areas of Main Camp

In order to make Camp safe for reconstruction and Campers, over 1,900 trees that are dead, burned or hazardous must be removed. The City conducted multiple tree risk assessments over the past 6 years to determine the extent of tree removals required. This work is a necessary first step to the re-birth of Camp. The good news is that as the dead trees are removed we begin to see glimpses of what is to come – native manzanita, oak and pine trees that have sprouted after the fire, all now uncovered, healthy and growing.

The Sun City tree removals and demolition of remnant structures are complete but it required a highly technical and specialized approach to avoid environmental and cultural impacts. The City staff coordinated with USFS and Tribal representatives to ensure this work was carried out with no impacts.

Please note that this is NOT a good time to visit Camp. The road is intermittently closed, and the public is not allowed in the Camp area while trees are being pruned/removed due to safety. 

Looking ahead: The City is anticipating a groundbreaking celebration for the Reconstruction Project in Spring 2020 and they hope to include a volunteer tree planting in areas that will not be impacted by construction. Stay tuned for details!

For more rebuilding updates from the City of Berkeley, visit their website.

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Want to learn more? Have questions for us?

Let’s talk or grab coffee sometime… Contact Marcie or Scott today!

Sept 2019: Together, WE are making history

A special note from the Executive Director, Scott Gelfand

In the 34 years that I’ve been involved with Camp Tuolumne, this summer stands out as a special and historical moment in time.

Over the last few months, Marcie and I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting hundreds of Tuolumne campers, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, from San Diego to Portland. We have had coffees and dinner parties almost every week and weekend from June through August. It’s been a true honor to do this work and I’ve learned so much.

I’ve learned every camper has an amazing family story to share. From their own unique family traditions to miraculous summer experiences, Camp is THEIR home. It’s their sacred spot every summer to soak in the best of themselves and their loved ones. As we shared the reconstruction updates and talked about Camp, the sadness of their loss would come flowing back. In the same breath sometimes, campers would both rejoice and also cry. “It’s real – Camp is really coming back!” we’d hear, and for maybe the first time, that reality would truly sink in.

Yes, Camp is coming back! And this summer will go down in history as the summer that WE, a community of campers, committed to help bring it back to life.

In 3 years, when we are sitting at the green chair circle, reading our books and chatting with friends under some lovely shade and looking out at campers playing, we will talk about the summer of 2019. We will see the names of families whose leadership brought shade to Camp and helped to restore the forest.

In 20 years, when our kids have been on staff, and maybe our grandkids are jumping off of Beaverhead Rock, we will remember the people who worked together to ensure that Camp continued to bring joy to future generations. That is ALL OF US. We all can feel that gratitude for being a part of this moment, of making a difference and helping to create that future.

This is truly our moment in Camp’s history to restore our sacred place. Please join this incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity to help rebuild Camp Tuolumne. I ask you to keep participating in the Rebuilding Campaign before our deadline of October 31. Attend our eventsgive generously and ask others to join you!

Together, we are the Tuolumne Spirit. Together, we are making history.

May 2019: The Future of Camp Tuolumne

The Future of Camp Tuolumne

A historic evening to celebrate the rebirth of Camp Tuolumne was held at The Berkeley Repertory Theater on May 13th, as the Friends hosted “The Future of Camp Tuolumne!”

Mayor Jesse Arreguin, the City Council, City Staff, Capital Improvement Program Manager Liza McNulty, and the design team of Siegel and Strain were there to support the rebuilding of Camp Tuolumne and show campers the new design of Camp. For the first time, we saw what we’ll be returning to in the summer of 2022… it was magnificent!

Their words of support and the design of Camp were greeted with enthusiastic applause, and oohs and ahhs from the camper audience! The “Tuolumne Spirit” was as strong as ever, with a full house of campers all committing to help rebuild camp with whatever is needed to get Camp back the way we want it. The City showed what insurance and FEMA will pay for and what they will not cover. Their presentation can be found here.

The FOBTC Board showed the gap that will be missing once Camp returns – the loss of almost 6,000 trees! The biggest difference will be in main camp, and will make that area very exposed to the sun to be in. Insurance and FEMA will help re-seed the area, but we’ll need taller, more mature trees, and engineered shade structures to bring back a comfortable shaded main camp, and the green of the forest!

This is where the Friends believe we can make the biggest difference – and how we can help the future of Camp to be successful.  We want to return to a forest and to a comfortable Camp. We are raising funds to help this piece that will not be funded by insurance.

Our Rebuilding CAMPaign goal is to raise $1 million dollars by October 31, 2019. As of today, we have raised $449,000! So, we’re off to a great start!

Updates in Other Cities

On Saturday, May 18th, we took the show on the road to our Southern California campers in Los Angeles. Longtime campers Glenn Berkovitz and Jane Paul hosted a fabulous house party and over 30 campers showed that the love for Camp stretches way beyond the Bay Area!

In July, we’re hoping to go to San Diego and Portland! Please let us know if you live in those areas and could come to a local update!

Help Rebuild Camp Tuolumne!

What YOU can do to help:

*Discuss a contribution to the Rebuilding CAMPaign with Scott or Marcie

*Meet us for tea/coffee/beer to stay engaged and updated

*Host a gathering with your camper family and friends

*Volunteer with FOBTC

*Attend events this summer: Annual Campfire (Aug 25th), Friends Weekend (Aug 30th), Fall Gala (Sept 19th)

 

Please contact us with questions or for more information about the rebuilding of Camp Tuolumne. Together, we can rebuild the Camp we love.

There’s no place… 

 

1,000 trees were planted by more than 125 volunteers!

The 4th Annual Tree Replanting Party was a HUGE Success!


Over 125 people came out to plant over 1,000 trees in a day!


The Tuolumne Spirit was strong – families, friends,

Berkeley Rotarians and former staff had a great time bringing back the forest!


25 UC Cal students from the Epsilon ETA Environmental Service Fraternity joined us

this year thanks to the UC Chancellor’s Community Partnership Grant!

They had an amazing weekend of free lodging, food and transportation

and we cannot wait to partner with UC Berkeley again next year!

December 2018 Update on Rebuilding Camp Tuolumne

Rebuilding Update & Timeline

The City staff and Camp architects Siegel & Strain are now working on the Basis of Design, the final project drawings, which determines what companies bid on to rebuild camp. The City is working with the USFS and FEMA to complete hazardous tree removals, environmental analyses and documentation required to permit and fund the project. Final Basis of Design will be complete by Oct 2019, and construction bids will be accepted in Nov 2019.

FOBTC has been working closely with City of Berkeley staff on the rebuild effort. We know now that there will be a gap between what insurance will pay for and what we’ll need and want at Camp from Day 1 – specifically trees and nature, and architectural shade for tents and main camp to keep it comfortable. Since most of the forest cover in the main part of camp was destroyed in the Rim Fire, FOBTC will be actively raising money for mature trees and landscaping so we can return to a green landscape and growing forest, and for shade construction in main camp, the green chair circle, and for tents that will be exposed to direct sun. These items are NOT covered by insurance and are currently unfunded and may get cut from the design. In the Spring, FOBTC will kick-off a one-time major fundraising initiative to help support these critically important items. To have these items included in the initial design (and therefore part of camp at opening day) we intend to make a major contribution in October 2019. Stay tuned for more info, your help will be needed for the success of this effort!

YOU: The most important reason to give is to return to your sacred space, your sanctuary, your family get-togethers, your home away from home – and have it be fabulous and comfortable as soon as you get there. It needs to be built to last for many generations, so future family members can continue the traditions you love and hold so dearly.

2018-08-28 Conceptual Dining Hall Exhibit

FOBTC wins Chancellor’s Grant to send under served kids and teens to Camp!

In the summer of 2019, FOBTC is looking to completely fund 16 under served youth for youth camp, and 12 CIT’s to experience working at Camp.

A major goal of FOBTC is to support Berkeley kids who could not afford it to get out of the city and be at Camp during the summer. FOBTC received a $20,000 grant from The UC Chancellor’s Office to bring under served Berkeley youth and teens to experience camp next summer!

The grant was written with the partnership of UC-Berkeley California Outdoor Engagement Coalition, with the goals of bringing more outdoor engagement experiences to Berkeley youth and teens. We will be reaching out to kids in those areas of Berkeley who cannot afford coming to Youth Camp, and teens in the CIT program from diverse neighborhoods to experience being at Camp!

1922 “Tuolumne Speakeasy”- A Fall Gala event for the ages!

We called it “The Great Campsby”- a Fall Gala in a remarkable time and place!

We went back to the year Camp opened, 1922, in a mansion called “The Pines”, in Sausalito overlooking the Bay. Casino games, cocktails, roaring 20’s music, catered food, and hidden rooms everywhere. The event was spectacular, with over 130 people attending.

We raised money for FOBTC expenses and the everyday we work we do as a non-profit, and for rebuilding camp, and had tremendous community spirit doing it! What a blast!

2018 Staff Reunion at Cornerstone Brewery in Berkeley!

The 2nd annual Staff Reunion took place on November 23, the Friday after Thanksgiving, with over 50 current and nostalgic former Staff members ranging all the way back to the 50’s gathering at Cornerstone Brewery in Downtown Berkeley!

FOBTC bought the first round, gathered around the fire pit, and gave staff an update and a chance to ask questions on the rebuild process. It was so sweet to see everyone, and so inspiring to see how many former staff are staying so connected to Camp!