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I Went To Camp!

I had “up close and personal” experiences with three fabulous Sierra Club Programs earlier this month.

Operation Purple Camp

August kicked off with a visit to one of the Operation Purple Camps with Brittany McKee, Sierra Club Representative for the National Military Family Program. At this particular camp in Pennsylvania, there were 90 youth, 7 to 15 years old. In 2009 there were 64 Operation Purple Camps and after the first two years of this program, we have helped to provide outdoor experiences for 23,000 military family members!

Here are some photos from camp:

(1) Campers untangling themselves from a human knot


(2) Me with kids and camp staff

OPC PA Allison and kids

(3) Kids climb in the obstacle course


Sierra Student Coalition Shindig

Next stop was the Sierra Student Coalition Shindig, at Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland. This was their annual leadership forum where a new executive committee is seated and youth activists from many high schools, college campuses and recent graduates gather to celebrate our victories, strategize, prioritize, and set the goals and direction of the organization. The week is filled with leadership skills trainings, planning sessions, visioning exercises, and informative issue panels from guest speakers. It takes stamina to survive a Shindig, with daily schedules that run from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (that’s an “early” end of day). Randy Downs attended a Sprog (SSC training) earlier in the summer and volunteered as chef for Shindig, creating delicious vegetarian meals for 110 hungry activists. At Shindig, everything is “optional” but nobody wants to miss anything!

(1) SSC Power

IMG 1892-SSC Power

(2) Small Group Breakout Session


(3) “Trust” comes in all forms


(4)  It takes a lot of pizzas to feed 110 hungry activists


Clair Tappaan Lodge Gala Celebration

There was a splendid turnout last weekend for the 75th anniversary of the Sierra Club’s Clair Tappaan Lodge and 85th anniversary of Hutchinson Lodge. Multiple generations of loyal visitors showed up to enjoy hikes, music, arts & craft workshops, great fellowship and, of course, raise funds. Special guests included Milton Hildebrand, who helped build the lodge in the early 1930s! The first CTL Music Festival was held on Sunday, which featured four local ensembles and brought in new visitors from the neighborhood. Hats off to the CTL committee and staff for a glorious celebration!

(1) Clair Tappaan Lodge


(2)  Milton Hildebrand


(3)  The Lost Quartet



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David Scott

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