In July, North Group sponsored two 10-year-old girls—one from Eureka and one from Crescent City—to attend a week-long “River & Adventure” session at Lost Coast Camp near Petrolia. This represented a new venue for campers sponsored through donations to the Lucille Vinyard/Susie van Kirk Environmental Education Fund.
In 2016, the Oregon Museum of Science & Technology discontinued its overnight camp sessions in Redwood National & State Parks near Orick, where North Group had been sending local children for a number of years. So, I began searching for a new local overnight camp with an environmental emphasis and discovered Lost Coast Camp in the Mattole Valley. The facility’s mission is to “provide youth with a dynamic summer camp experience, which promotes building self-esteem and positive friendships, individual expression, and fostering an appreciation for the natural world.”
In exchange for their tuition, the girls agreed to submit an essay to North Group about their experience. Below are excerpts:
Camper 1: “My experience at camp brought out the best in me and that makes me proud of myself. I stepped up to help and was brave when I needed to be. One day I earned a medallion because I was willing to talk about my goals, about how I wanted to act as a person when I left camp. Now, I’m confident and sure I can do anything when I put my mind to it. Some of my most memorable moments include the mouth-watering, healthy meals; evening campfires when we would sing and tell stories; and our counselor reading us a story before bed. I met unique girls and formed strong friendships and bonds and will never forget my cabin mates. But the really amazing moments were walking to the river through pastures and fields and seeing the beautiful mountains. The colors were so vibrant and bright and they inspired me to be curious and happy. One night we slept under the stars on the sand lining the shore of the Mattole River.”
Camper 2: “This truly was an exceptional, amazing camp experience, like no other I’ve had. This is my first time getting to explore the Lost Coast and this camp was an easy way to do that, through visiting its forests, mountains, rivers, and beaches. We spent almost all of our time outdoors. Every day we took a trip to the river. One day we went canoeing; another, we went to the beach and played in the woods. My favorite part of camp was our overnight at Strawberry Rock, a big rock on top of a mountain. The other best part of camp was the beach day, where you could do so many things: play on the sand, swim in the water, or play games in the woods.”
One need not be a Sierra Club member to participate in these outings. Please join us!
Saturday October 14—North Group Humboldt Redwoods State Park Bull Creek Flats Loop. Beginning in Richardson Grove, our route upstream along Bull Creek leads through some of the world’s largest old growth forest. Be prepared to wade shallow crossings. Bring lunch, plentiful water, hiking footwear. M-9-A. Carpools 8:30 a.m. Ray’s Valley West, 9:15 a.m. Eureka Kmart on Hwy 101, 10 a.m. Rockefeller Grove. Leader Melinda 707-668-4275 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rain, strong winds cancel.
Saturday October 21—North Group Del Norte Redwoods State Park Last Chance Coastal Trail Hike. An easygoing ramble through lush old-growth upon a stretch of Redwood Highway replaced in the 1930s by the present 101 route, which is evolving with the latest round of slope failures. Bring water and lunch. No dogs. Medium difficulty, 8 miles, less than 1,000 ft. elevation change. Carpools 9 a.m. Ray’s Valley West, 10:30 a.m. Damnation Creek trailhead (3.3 mi. north of Wilson Creek bridge, west side Hwy. 101) leader Ned, email@example.com, 707-825-3652. Heavy rain cancels.
Thursday November 9—North Group Prairie Creek State Park Hike. A loop on the West Ridge and Prairie Creek Trails: out through towering ridge forest, returning creekside past autumn maples and bottom-land giants. Bring lunch, water, hiking footwear. M-6-A. Carpools 9 a.m. Ray’s Valley West. All meet 10:15 a.m. porch at Prairie Creek Visitor Center. Leader Melinda 707-668-4275 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Steady rain cancels.
Saturday November 18—North Group Lacks Creek/Pine Ridge Prairies Hike. Explore this nearby Bureau of Land Management area off Highway 299, on new and old trails created by BLM, Humboldt Trails Council, and Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association. We will see a mix of oak savannas, old-growth conifers, and regenerating hardwood-covered slopes. Humboldt Bay and ocean views a possibility. Bring lunch and water, and dress for a fall day at 3,600 feet elevation. Medium difficulty, about 5 miles, less than 1,000 feet elevation gain/loss. Carpools: Meet 9 a.m. Ray’s Valley West. Leader Ned, email@example.com, 707-825-3652 message phone. Heavy rain cancels.