Tuolumne River Trust Event

From the TRT, our partner in preserving the Tuolumne River and restoring the forest from Rim Fire damage:

The Tuolumne River needs us today more than ever. The drought is putting tremendous pressure on government agencies to relax protections for water quality and endangered species.  We need to make sure our hard-won victories are preserved.

Last fall, 97% of the Rim Fire burned through the Tuolumne River watershed.  We need to make sure the Recovery Plan places an equal value on ecosystem restoration as it does on salvage logging.  An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be released in the next few weeks, and the Tuolumne River Trust (TRT) will be heavily engaged in making sure it’s based on sound science.

Water conservation, efficiency and recycled water are key to balancing the needs of humans with those of other species that depend on the Tuolumne. In the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) service territory, where 2.6 million people depend on the Tuolumne, we have reduced water consumption by 15% over the past seven years.  This has created a healthy buffer against the drought, and serves as a good example to others.  We must continue to use our precious water more efficiently.

I’m proud to work for the Tuolumne River Trust, which I believe is one of the most effective environmental groups in the region. Our strength comes from people like you!  Please help us continue to be as effective as possible by joining me on the river for a day or two of paddling, sponsoring my paddle or volunteering for a riverside event.

Many thanks!
Patrick Koepele
TRT Executive Director


The Event at Freight and Salvage

Tuolumne Spirit gathering at Freight and Salvage on Monday, April 28, 2014

Scott Gelfand and the Events committee of FOBTC organized an information/Table Night event at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. Over 350 tickets were purchased and an excited group of campers arrived to see traditional Table Night skits and to hear about the City of Berkeley’s progress on rebuilding Berkeley Tuolumne Camp.

The highlight of the evening was a short speech by Berkeley mayor Tom Bates announcing that the City was committed to rebuilding Camp, despite many known and unknown hurtles. The mayor received a standing ovation for his pledge. In addition, the mayor presented a plaque from FOBTC to Mike McEneany for his historic efforts to save Camp back in the early 1980’s when it was threatened by a dam project. Mike also was instrumental as a found member of the Tuolumne River Trust who successfully gained a “Wild and Scenic” Federal declaration for the main stem of the Tuolumne River.

Patrick Koepple, Executive Director of the Tuolumne River Trust spoke for 15 minutes on the efforts of his organization after the devastation of the Rim fire to the Tuolumne watershed. One of his most poignant comments was that only 16% of the Tuolumne River water flow was dedicated to fish and wildlife.

The final speaker of the evening was Scott Ferris, Director of Parks & Waterfront for the City of Berkeley. Scott informed the crowd of his many efforts to get Camp cleaned up and his negotiations so far with the City’s insurance carriers, FEMA and the US Forest Service, from whom the City leases the Camp. Many questions remain but Scott continues to be hopeful that BTC may one day be rebuilt. He cautioned that the process would be slow and could easily take up to four years to complete. In the meantime, he encouraged all the BTC campers to take advantage of the City’s Echo Lake Camp as they have opened three weeks of their season to Family Camp.

It was an enjoyable evening with Table night and skits interspersed between speakers and with the excellent MC talent of Scott Gelfand, the creator, along with Board President Steve Geahry, of the many Saturday night Staff shows.

Many thanks to The Tamsen Donner Blues Band who greeted the guests as they arrived with their tunes; Katie Whitty, Patricia and their staff helpers who handled sales; Lisa Bullwinkle and Beth and Rose Gelfand for managing the box office; and the amazing talent of the night, Finn the Magnificent & Miss Direction; Ava Killbourn’s amazing essay on the Rim Fire and Camp; Aaron Bendich who is competing in the World-Championships in Yo Yo Talent, Amy Schaffer with Suzanne Praetzel singing Fields of Gold, and Sophie and Felix Sparling singing and strumming “The Old Man of the Mountain”! What a talented camp we have!

Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to our new website!

As we move into the new era of camp and re-building, FOBTC has decided to also re-build its website. It’s time: we need a new and better way to stay connected and are hearing that you need a new way to get all the current information about Berkeley Family Camp, current and future, as well as a way to stay connected to the past. Read more

New Board Members and Executive Committee

On April 10, 2014 the Board of FOBTC welcomed new members Scott Gelfand and Richard Sheng. David Newell and Chris Ahlstrand, long time Board members, are both becoming Board Members Emeritus. New Board President, Steve Geahry, is excited to be leading the new team into this new era of “re-building BTC” in the tradition of the founders of FOBTC.

When the organization was founded, it was in response the threat of flooding the area for a new dam/reservoir. Joining forces with other organizations, FOBTC was a strong advocate for the area that was preserved from flooding. As wee continue to be a voice for campers, our efforts now are focused on the the camper experience at the temporary family camp at Echo Lake and the re-build of the site in Tuolumne.

The 2014 Board of Directors for FOBTC is excited to be working together as well as with other organizations and the City of Berkeley in this time of transition, planning and building the new future of Camp.

The Ahwahnee Staff Dinner

The Ahwahnee Dinner

Every year, camper donations and FOBTC send the staffers for an end of the season celebratory dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. This year’s staff did not have the opportunity to go to the Ahwahnee but we wanted them to have a special dinner, not only for their own enjoyment but as a thank you for their hard work and efforts during those last days and minutes at BTC.

This year the staff dinner was at the Brazilian Room in Tilden Park. About 20 alumni staff showed up at the beginning of the evening to present the 2013 staff with a commemorative plaque and offer their heartfelt thanks. The evening included dinner and dancing and ended with a closing circle.

Many thanks to our camper volunteer, Katie Whitty, for the planning, time and energy she put into making this an exceptional event.

We also want to acknowledge and thank Campers & Friends who assisted in making this night happen.


Donations were made by:
Flowerland – Forest of trees
Lisa Kirkby- Desserts
Lisa and Rick Kirkby- Acme Bread
Ceci Bowman-Tuolumne cards
Valerie Kratzer- luminarias

Set up crew and creative team:

Katie Whitty, Jason
Mike Frauenfelder and Tricia O’Regan
Michael Baum and Tim Veness
Locke Jaeger

The caterers, Serves You Right Catering, were fantastic and we appreciate all of their hard work and great food.

David Maldonado rocked the house as DJ!

FOBTC greatly appreciates your help and vision to make the “Ahwahnee” night a memorable one.  The 2013 Staff raved about it and cheered us in song as we wrapped up the dinner.