We had a great Town Hall Meeting on Feb 10th in Berkeley.
We were so impressed with campers showing up to get involved, lend their voices, and tell us their concerns.
We wanted to send out a recap as to what was discussed, for those that missed it. We had over 100 people sign up to come, so we know there was a lot of interest!
Here is a summary of what was discussed. Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any specific questions, or if you’d like to be more involved with the Friends and how you might plug in…
Scott Gelfand and the Board of The Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp
After the presentation below, we broke out into 4 groups – Fundraising, Political Strategy & Partnerships, Live Events & Community Engagement, and PR and Communications. Attendees went to whatever area interested them. The conversations were full and vibrant, and there were great ideas and passion. We hope to engage as many volunteers as want to be involved with us, and continue to do the work of keeping our camp community engaged and informed.
They gave us great ideas on giving campaigns and fundraising, special events like a Theme Day in the Park to bring us all together (they literally had dozens and dozens of fun ideas), PR to reach out to younger campers and get them involved (we have sinced launched an official Instagram page), and continuing and growing our advocacy and partnerships work to make sure we are educating and involving all the important legislators and decision makers.
Update on Camp and Current Status
The City, their Insurance Company, and the USFS are currently negotiating the Zoning and Master Plan areas.
Specifically: What can be built, where can it be built, and what insurance will pay for.
All 3 stakeholders are hopeful this process will be complete this spring/summer and an agreement will be signed.
This is a sensitive process, and a complex negotiation. But indications from the City staff are that it is going well and moving along in a good direction.
Big thanks to Scott Ferris for his leadership and stewardship of this.
Master Plan Process
Once that agreement is made, a new Master Plan draft is created for feedback and a public process will ensue.
FOBTC will help the City create venues for feedback and inclusion as much as possible.
The City has retained 2M Associates for the next few years, and they have already been working on Camp re-designs for a few years now, and know the Camp VERY well.
The goal would be to re-create the camp feel and footprint as best as we can.
We’ll know more hopefully by this summer.
The Land, Trees & Logging
The Camp has had approx. 1400 hazardous trees removed in the Fall
There is no work being done during the Winter.
They will evaluate some trees (not many) in the Spring
The goal for everyone is to leave as many trees as possible, of course.
No one is allowed to be on the Camp property. Harden Flat Rd. is open, but the camp property is closed. They will cite you for trespassing if caught on the property, and the city could have issues. Please do not go onto the camp property.
The Camp Business
Sierra Family Camp expanded to 5 weeks of Family Camp this summer
A larger staff size to improve family camp and keep the Tuolumne Spirit alive and well
Thanks to Denise and Craig for their leadership and vision! Weeks are selling well, but there are still openings.
FOBTC: It’s Been a Very Busy 2014 – What we’ve done!
Improved Camper Communication: we now are in communication with over 2300 campers via our email and Facebook page. Our goal is to double that so that we can keep everyone informed and educated and involved. We are expanding our web site, and our monthly communication.
New Partnerships and Advocacy: we now attend and are a part of the powerful Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions partnership, the group that meets regularly with the US Forest Service. FOBTC now has a relationship with the US Forest Service and got a unanimous agreement to treat the 14.5 acres of Camp land as a unique part of the forest and to have a special prescription for reforestation. We are also partnering with the Tuolumne River Trust on events and issues relating to Camp and the South Fork of the Tuolumne River.
Political Strategy: we have monthly meetings with Scott Ferris, the Director of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront who keeps us updated as to their negotiations. FOBTC meets with the Mayor’s office, Berkeley Council people, and all stakeholders who have an interest and connection to Camp to maintain healthy relationships and continue to advocate for the camp.
Live Events & Engagement: we have done 8 live events in Berkeley since the fire, almost one every other month, to continue to engage the community and connect our campers, bringing The Camp Spirit to Berkeley. This is a vital role for FOBTC to play to keep our community strong.
Fundraising: While not going full speed on fundraising until we have a Master Plan and a camp being built, we continue to do small fundraising so that we can continue to support family camp at Sierra Family Camp.
In the first summer at Echo Lake, we helped build the stage, and bought the sound system and lighting so that Sierra Family Camp could have the traditional Staff Show.
We bought and built over 25 Green Adirondack Chairs to create a Green Circle of Chairs.
We augmented the Ahwanee fund to give the staff an end-of-year dinner in Lake Tahoe.
We donated money for programming supplies – arts and crafts, and recreation program needs, so the camper experience would be supported.
We donated a small refrigerator for the D-Hall, and some other small items to enhance the staff needs.
FOBTC 2015 – What we are working on! Please join us!
April 14th 7pm – 8:30pm Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
“The Rim Fire and the State of the Stanislaus Forest” – a USFS presentation and update on what YOU can do and how to get involved! This is a powerful presentation and one in which you’ll be amazed at. We’ll also present an update on Camp from the City of Berkeley. Q & A will follow.
Saturday May 16th 1pm – 4pm “A Day on the Tuolumne River” – a family canoe trip with Tuolumne River Trust
August 28th – 30th Look for “The Blues Weekend” to re-surface
Sept 4th – 6th Potential Labor Day Weekend at Echo Lake!
1st Annual Echo Lake Boat Regatta
Sept 12th 2nd Annual “Tee off for Tuolumne” Golf Tourney at Tilden Park
Dec 21st Holiday Staff Show tradition at The Berkeley Rep’s Osher Studio