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Summer with Camp Stevens

Ages 8-18

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Whether at Counselor Training, on a wilderness trip, or during one of our legendary Adventure Sessions, summer with Camp Stevens is about laughing harder, singing louder and doing more than you ever thought possible.

Here’s some of what you can expect:

Adventure Group time

Small group challenges and adventures: The adventures that your group goes on together will never be recreated. As you have fun and make friends, you’ll also learn more about yourself, and probably impress yourself along the way.

Counselor and group

A staff that’s equal parts goofy and kind. Our staff is here because of you. They want to make your week at summer camp both fun and fulfilling, and they’ll work hard to make sure it happens. They’re also trained to pay attention to the little things, so if something’s not right, they can help fix it.

Hiking to the farm

A lot of time outdoors: When you’re not exploring with your group, cooking over a campfire, building rock sculptures, counting shooting stars, scaling the climbing wall, or doing tie-dye, you might be snacking on raspberries in the orchard, drawing with sidewalk chalk, or climbing the treehouse.

Smoothies during freetime

Delicious meals that happen to be healthy, and that can be customized for a variety of dietary needs (You’re gluten free? No problem!) Our campers’ favorite meals are macaroni and cheese, homemade pizza, and – of course! – pancakes.

Offering a 1:4 program staff to camper ratio, our program is camper-focused, eco-friendly, safe, affordable, and fun. It all adds up to one unforgettable summer. But don't just take our word for it: 100% of 2014's parent survey respondents said they would recommend Camp Stevens to a friend.

Register now to join us for an unforgettable summer.

 

Adventure Sessions

Ages 8-15

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Small group sunset Swimming during freetime

A lot of camps just focus on entertaining campers with a jam-packed schedule that shuttles them from one activity to the next. We think that kids deserve more than that: They deserve experiences that are fun AND meaningful. Our program is specifically designed to achieve that balance: Early in the week, your camper’s small group will focus on getting to know one another through silly games and challenging teambuilding activities. Our staff is trained to allow the group’s personality and interests help determine activities later in the week. As activities build on one another and challenges increase – so does the fun.

It’s a model we call Adventure, and we believe it so much, we named our summer camp sessions Adventure Sessions.

2015 Adventure Session Dates:

Adventure Session 1 (Ages 8-15): July 5-11
Adventure Session 2 (Ages 8-15): July 12-18 Only 3 spots available
Adventure Session 3 (Ages 8-15): July 19-25 Waiting list only
Adventure Session 4 (Ages 8-15): July 26-August 1 Only 1 boy spot available, several girls spots available

Pricing:

Camp Stevens offers three-tiered pricing. Pay the price that works best for your family. Every camper gets the same great summer camp experience, regardless of price paid. Additional financial assistance may be available through camperships.

Price A: $640
Price B: $590
Price C: $540

Would you like to:

Register for summer camp?
Download the summer camp brochure?

Read parent & camper summer camp testimonials?
Watch a video about summer camp?
Look at summer camp photos?

 

Epic: A Two-Week Adventure

Ages 12-15

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NEW! Epic: A Two-Week Adventure
July 12-25, 2015

You asked, we're answering: In 2015, we're introducing a two-week summer camp session. This is the perfect chance for seasoned campers, age 12-15, to experience a whole new kind of adventure. The goal of this program is to offer older, experienced campers an even richer and deeper time at summer camp.

We are so excited about this new program!

  • Space is extremely limited: Register now.
  • This session will run parallel to Adventure Sessions 2 and 3.
  • Bus transportation to and from camp is available.
  • Pricing: As with all of our sessions, Epic has three pricing options: Pay what works best for your family: 

    • Price A: $1340
    • Price B: $1290
    • Price C: $1240
  • Price include dedicated staff, all program (including outings), meals, and a t-shirt. There are discounts available for families sending more than one camper, and camperships available.

Register for Epic: A Two-Week Adventure now, or contact the office with any questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 760/765.0028.

 

International Odyssey

Ages 11-16

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Ropes Course at Camp Stevens International Odyssey

International Odyssey (Ages 11-16): August 2-8, 2015

Campers ages 11-16 are invited to join us for a week International Odyssey -- summer camp kicked up a notch.

Together with campers from Japan, and exclusively for older campers, this final week of summer camp is our most popular session, taking the traditional fun of a Camp Stevens Adventure Session -- think overnights, feeding chickens, face painting, hiking, teambuilding games, baking cookies, swimming, garden exploration, archery, lawn games, crafts and delicious food -- to a whole new level.

During the week, you will probably have a chance to do the Ropes Course, and Tuesday is "Japan Day," which features a tea ceremony, calligraphy, origami, kendo demonstrations, delicious traditional food and much more.

International Odyssey is a beloved Camp Stevens tradition, going back over 35 years, and we invite you to be a part of it.

Pricing: As with all of our sessions, International Odyssey has three pricing options; pay what works best for your family. There are also discounts available for families sending more than one camper, or campers attending more than one session, as well as camperships available.

Price A: $640
Price B: $590
Price C: $540

Special Opportunity! Part of the cultural exchange experience for our Japanese campers includes staying with an American family for 2 days after their summer camp session. Open up your home as a homestay, and you can save $50 off a summer camp registration! Contact our office (760.765.0028 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for more information and to volunteer.

Would you like to:

 

Counselor Training

Ages 16 and up

Community GatheringArts & Crafts

Counselor Training (Ages 16+): June 21-30, 2015 Registration is now closed.

Counselor Training (CT) is an intensive 10-day training session for individuals interested in developing leadership skills or becoming counselors at Camp Stevens. Through large group lessons, hands-on practice, and several rounds of feedback, attendees learn about program development, working with peers, group development, human relations, positive forms of communication, conflict resolution, effective listening, and much more.

Over ten days, Counselors-in-Training form a cohesive and supportive community of peers and develop amazing friendships. You'll learn and practice new leadership skills with teens and young adults from around the world.

We encourage attendees from all walks of life to join our summer community! Prior Camp Stevens attendance or experience is not necessary. Applicants should be eager to work with youth in the outdoors and excited to learn new skills.

Pricing:

As with all Camp Stevens summer programs, we offer three pricing options for this training opportunity:

Price A: $300
Price B: $250
Price C: $200

All participants must be at least 16 years old and have completed 10th grade. Admission requires an application and interview.

If you have completed Counselor Training, or worked at Camp Stevens in the past and are interested in counseling this summer, please complete this Counselor Availability Form.

Would you like to:

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Download the Counselor Training Application?

 

Our Summer Staff

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Summer Leadership Staff | Summer Resident Staff | Summer Support Staff

Our staff is a dynamic collection of people from around the globe, living and learning to do our part to make the world a better place. Through the guidance of our mission we aspire to be thoughtful stewards of the camp and warmly welcome all the people we serve. We invite you to get to know our team and our community.


Leadership Staff:

Axel Ancona EsslemanAxel Ancona Esselman
Wilderness Trip Leader

Axel is 29 years old and lives with his wife Samantha in San Francisco, where he pursues a computer science degree.

He grew up in Northern Germany, but moved to California in 2006 to work at Camp Stevens. There, he has worked in many capacities: He taught 6th grade students as an outdoor educator, led high ropes course and team building activities both during summer camp and during winter retreats, and has worked on integrating camp's organic garden into program for groups. Last summer he was the assistant leader for the 10 day backpacking trip, and he is ready to bring his expertise, excitement, safety, and sense of adventure for the coming summer.

Axel has loved the outdoors from the very first! Growing up in the flatlands of northern Germany, he built tree houses and shelters in the nearby forests. He fell in love with the mountains and the deserts when he moved to California. He and his wife spend their free time exploring the back-country and climbing the rock faces of Tahquitz, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite.


Beth BojarskiBeth Bojarski
Executive Director
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A northeast transplant, Beth has a passion for teaching and promoting outdoor education, sustainability, and environmental theology and has experience at outdoor centers, academic institutions, and within the Episcopal Church. Mitch, Beth's husband, is an Episcopal priest serving in Alpine. A knitter, canoeist, amateur gardener, and backpacker, these days Beth's most favorite thing is adventuring with her boys: Eliot and James.

 


Olivia GozaOlivia Goza
Support Coordinator

After working for two years on summer staff, Olivia joined the year-round staff in August 2014. This summer Olivia is excited to head the support team, take on new projects, and work on her watch tan. Originally from Arkansas, Olivia comes to Camp Stevens with a passion for the camp community, crafts, coffee, and alliteration. Her favorite gerunds include hammocking, stargazing, road-tripping, and storytelling. One might often find her dreaming of traveling to new places, discussing a love of breakfast foods, or fabricating a joke.


DSC_0030Trevor Graham-Wilcox
Associate Director
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Whether as a camper, counselor, Summer Camp Director or now as Associate Director, Trevor has found inspiration and joy at Camp Stevens throughout his life. Among his favorite things at camp are the songbook, quiet hikes at dusk, and seeing his nieces and nephews experience the summer camp program. Outside of work Trevor enjoys running marathons, traveling with his wife Ashley and son Jude to places near and far, listening to good music, and thinking about the next World Cup (of soccer)... preferably all at the same time.


johnJohn Horton
Administration Director
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John has lived and worked at Camp Stevens since 1975. He loves being outdoors, fishing, hiking, backpacking or just enjoying a beautiful afternoon on the beach with his lovely wife Nancy. Together they also like car camping in the desert, visiting their children, and taking Koco their dog for a walk in the woods. John’s latest passion, brewing, has taken him back to school to get a Certificate in Professional Brewing from the UCSD Extension.


Joe KieferJoe Kiefer
Summer Camp Director
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As summer camp director, Joe will meet each and every camper when they come to check in for their session. He’ll hire our resident summer staff, pre-screen all of our Counselor Training applicants, lead older groups on the ropes course, arrange bus transportation, play the banjo at Community Gathering, oversee any necessary conflict resolution, lifeguard during freetime, and much, much more. When he's not working, Joe enjoys such things as: bicycles, good coffee, long runs, the foibles of cat ownership, and practicing yoga.


RyanWanamakerRyan Wanamaker
Farm & Garden Director
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Ryan has been the organic gardener at Camp Stevens since 2005. He cares for our farm/garden, its soil, bio-diversity, and the hundreds of varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs that these systems support. In addition, Ryan is interested in landscaping with drought tolerant; habitat providing, native plants and helping our guests connect with their ecology in the gardens and in the wilderness surrounding our facilities. In his other life, Ryan enjoys good food, good company, home-grown music, and climbing rocks.


DelaneyDelaney Widyolar
Wilderness Trip Leader

Delaney is thrilled to return as a Wilderness Trip Leader in 2015, to have some good ol' Camp Stevens adventures all over California. An experienced backpacker, rock climber, and cycling tourist, Delaney is excited to share her love for living out of a backpack and all that comes with it. Delaney has always wanted to spot a mountain lion, has really good luck catching fish, swears by all things made from wool, won't be found in the back country without her favorite trail snack (gummy bears), loves learning the names of new wildflowers, and is always on the search for the perfect heart-shaped rock. Delaney is also Camp Stevens's year-round Retreat Center & Hospitality Manager.




Summer Resident Staff

Amelia BoyleAmelia Boyle
Resident Summer Staff

Amelia is a rising junior at the University of Redlands and a member of the Johnston Program for Integrated Studies. This will be her first year working at Camp Stevens, but she worked at a camp in her hometown in Virginia for a year. At school she studies primarily in the arts and sociology departments, and hopes to use these tools to work in social justice post-graduation. Her favorite activities are playing games, going on hikes, smelling the roses, and grapefruit.


Maxine CalleMaxine Calle
Resident Counselor

Maxine is a native to San Diego, California. In her spare time, she is often found with either a paintbrush or pencil in hand. Besides art, Maxine enjoys studying music, mathematics, aerial acrobatics, and the art of going out to eat. She is still trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, but is happy to be a part of the wonderful community at Camp Stevens.

 


Lauren Christensen

Lauren Christensen
Resident Summer Staff

Lauren is a recent college graduate who has grown up in San Diego. She loves sports, traveling, playing games and being outdoors. She is planning to become a Physical Education teacher in the near future. Lauren is so excited to see what the summer has in store and the many adventures that are sure to take place.


Claire Faith

Claire Faith
Resident Summer Staff

After being a camper for many summers at Camp Stevens and counseling for a few, Claire is very excited to be working as a summer staff member for the first time! Hailing from the town of Fillmore, CA, and a recent graduate of Humboldt State in Arcata, CA, Claire is proud to call this state her home. She finds joy in all things outdoors such as recreation, gardening, and conservation. She also loves spending quality time with people, singing with them, and sharing the more-than-occasional silly moment! In her spare time, Claire thoroughly enjoys musicals, but doesn't mind if you don't. She also likes playing music and singing, attempting to dance Irish jigs, cooking experiments, and learning all the crafty and interesting tidbits she can discover.


Michelle Gallardo-AriasMichelle Gallardo-Arias
Resident Summer Staff

Michelle first came to Camp Stevens when she was just 11 years old as a camper and has been coming back ever since. Some of her favorite activities include hiking, singing campfire songs, doing ropes courses, and eating mulberries off the mulberry tree. When not at camp, Michelle attends Southwestern College where she studies music performance and works as a private math tutor. She is so excited to be working all summer this year and is looking forward to all the new adventures to come!

 


Marissa HeaneyMarissa Heaney
Resident Summer Staff

Marissa Heaney is excited for her fourth summer at Camp Stevens. After an adventurous day, she loves watching the sunset fade into shimmering constellations in Great Meadow. She is currently working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

 

 


Zoe MarshallZoë Marshall
Resident Summer Staff

Zoë is so excited to spend another summer at Camp Stevens! She is a senior at a small college in Western New York, where she studies Psychology. This will be her second summer on summer staff, and she can't wait to roll down the main lawn, sleep under the stars, and do a lot of arts and crafts.

 

 


Riley OestreicherRiley Oestreicher
Resident Summer Staff

This will be Riley's sixth year working at Camp Stevens. When Riley is not at camp, they are hard at work in the biology labs at the University of Redlands. Riley loves hiking, laughing, crafting, and coffee.

 


Daren Owen
Resident Summer Staff

Bio coming soon.


Rebecca ParsonsRebecca Parsons
Resident Summer Staff

A recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz, Rebecca is a fresh release on the token “adult world,” and is loving every minute of it. She likes drinking out of mason jars, saltwater hair, smiling for no reason, laughing so hard it hurts, pranks, mud fights, playing outside, the smell of the rain, wide open spaces, running until legs ache, being barefoot, early mornings, spontaneity, adventures, and of course, Camp Stevens.

 


Isaac Simons-ArayaIsaac Simons-Araya
Resident Counselor

This is Isaac's second year working at Camp Stevens. He is excited to return and share his love of the camp with campers and coworkers this summer! He is passionate about music and creating visual art, and is currently majoring in theater arts.

 

 


John Spooner
Resident Summer Staff

John was born and raised in Southeast London. Having visited the East Coast for work last summer, he is excited to visit the West. John is a graduate of Loughborough University and qualified scuba diver. He enjoys fitness activity, Photoshop, Game of Thrones, and being outdoors. Though he loves the busy life of the city, getting away from the cars and the concrete to see nature has always been an escape for John. The only thing that scares him is spiders.


Colin SweeneyColin Sweeney
Resident Summer Staff

Colin can best be described as a seeker of great times and wonderful people. He hails from San Diego, but just finished his sophomore year in engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he loves to see great live bands, do headstands in his dorm, and attempt to master the “southern charm.” Last summer was Colin’s first year on staff, and after falling in love with Camp Stevens, is more than thrilled to be returning. His favorite thing about camp is the incredible view of the stars, and you may see him cruising on his skateboard, munching on some carrots, or watching an Upper Meadow sunset.


Christopher TaylorChristopher Taylor
Resident Summer Staff

Chris comes to Camp Stevens for the first time this year, eager to have what he believes will be an excellent summer. Chris has previously worked for Camp Chen-A-Wanda in Pennsylvania and has so far travelled to 6 states; he one day hopes to see them all. His favorite hobby in life to date is snowboarding, which he has done at home in the UK and abroad in various parts of France and Austria. Along with this, he holds a keen interest in all things extreme, from free running to skydiving, and looks forward to trying surfing. Chris is an open, interactive and interested individual who loves to meet new people from all walks of life, try new things and experience new cultures, always looking for the next adventure and something new to try and is certain that his next, Camp Stevens, will be a very positive one.




Summer Support Staff:

Ben BlueBen Blue
Maintenance Coordinator

Ben has various roles around camp and may, at any given time, be wrangling the water system, building with beams, taking down trees, primping the pool, or trying to track wandering tools. You can catch him in his off hours attempting to convince people to play complicated board games, reading, watching football, or maybe rock climbing badly if he’s feeling particularly energetic.


AshleyGraham-WilcoxAshley Graham-Wilcox
Marketing & Outreach Manager
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Ashley first came to Camp Stevens as a 10 year-old camper, and most recently rejoined the staff in September of 2009, after 9 years of living in Boston, and working in legal, high tech and event marketing. Ashley has the amazing job of getting people of all ages invested in and energized about nature and long-term environmental sustainability through online, community, and social media outreach. When Ashley's not working, she's drinking iced coffee and chasing her one-year old around (Yes, probably at the same time.).


Lauren MankeyLauren Mankey
Summer Camp Registrar
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Though originally from New Jersey, Lauren has found her heart belongs to the West Coast and is super excited to be a part of the Camp Stevens community. She loves to travel and hopes to finish visiting all fifty states soon (current count: thirty-two). Lauren also enjoys drinking coffee, running, and identifying interesting plants; she will never say no if you ask her to go dancing or to a movie theater. For her last birthday, she received a harmonica, so watch out.


Myles MarantetteMyles Marantette
Kitchen Intern

Myles Marantette is a twenty-two year old student studying international affairs at the University of Nevada, Reno. His previous work experience has taken him through many restaurants and placed him on many a catering staff. He is therefore no stranger to weddings. When not studying or enjoying time spent with friends, he is usually traveling to the Bay Area for concerts. While not subscribing fully to any one religion, Myles believes in the general good intentions of people and the power that music and communal gatherings can have in fostering personal and collective development. At Camp Stevens he hopes to grow alongside campers and staff members and help create a friendly, safe, and enjoyable environment. Having studied in Japan this year, Myles will receive his BA at UNR in 2016, and hopes to possibly teach English in Japan and then work for an NGO that deals with disaster prevention and relief.


Garrett_P_website_PhotoGarrett Phelps
Videographer

When not on Volcan Mountain to catch a High Definition Sunrise, Garrett enjoys writing poetry and talking philosophy over green tea, the ocean, and desert thunderstorms. Native to San Diego, Garrett was a counselor and staff at camp in the past, and as an independent film maker he is currently living at camp to capture and share the beauty, environmental stewardship, and incredible people and spirit of Camp Stevens with the greater community. Impromptu guitar playing and road trips with family and friends are for sure in there as well.


Laban WengerLaban Wenger
Maintenance Intern

Laban comes to Camp Stevens excited to be around some good folks. He grew up at a small summer camp in Pennsylvania, and is passionate about the excitement and safety a camp environment can offer. Sitting very still and moving around make sense to Laban, and he’s working on figuring out his relationship with all that stuff in between. His favorite thing is getting really excited, and he’s really excited by music, food, and games. If you want to toss a frisbee around, feel free to find him. In an attempt to portray himself as accurately as possible, Laban took the accompanying photo in between writing this sentence and the one preceding it.

 

Our Chaplains

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We are grateful for the chaplains that volunteer their time throughout the summer to be with our staff and campers. Regardless of campers' and staff's faith background, our chaplains are open-hearted and open-minded individuals, who help to reflect on, motivate, and appreciate the summer camp experience.