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Open House set for July 1

By Sierra Robinson

June 18, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) --Nestled in the mountains of Descanso within Cleveland National Forest, Camp Oliver offers all children an outdoor experience and has been in operation since 1949, when Lawrence and Mary Oliver donated a portion of their ranch along the Sweetwater River to the Sisters of Social Service. 

The Sisters of Social Service created a non-denominational children’s summer camp and retreat center. The Camp was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1990, and is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA). Their mission is to provide a “safe, caring environment for children, youth and adults so they can appreciate and value themselves, others, and the natural world around them.”

With one-week sessions for campers ages 6-15, the camp offers an array of special activities, including hiking, swimming, archery, drama classes, sports, talent shows, a ropes course, arts and crafts, dance classes, and more.   

This summer, the camp is offering a session called Teen Leadership week, a camp for all teens ages 13 to 15 focusing on making them better leaders in their community, which will be held on July 8 -13. Camp Oliver also offers sessions for children ages 6 to 12 which will be held on July 15-20 and July 22-27.

On July 1st, Camp Oliver is having an Open House at the camp from 1 to 4 pm, including tours of camp, a chance to meet the summer staff, and an available barbecue lunch for a suggested donation of $4.
“We have a ‘no child will be turned away regardless if they can pay or not’ policy,” said Trista Brant, Administrative Assistant at the non-profit camp. Camp Oliver offers financial aid to qualifying families and no-interest payment plans. Financial Aid in the form of Camperships is made possible by the generosity of the Social Service Auxiliary, the Community Campership Council, and private donors.  

The organization also partners with the Lion’s Club, which sponsors two one-week sessions for low-income/at-risk children, including foster children from the ages of 9 to 13. These children get to come to camp for free through the generosity of the Lions in a special session called Camp Jack.

Camp Oliver also serves as a rental facility for private groups including corporate or church retreats, family reunions, birthday parties, and more throughout much of the year. Rental proceeds help fund its summer camp program for children during the summer.

Originally a Kumeyaay Indian seasonal site, the natural setting includes California live oak trees, red manzanitas, and wild lilac bushes with meandering hiking trails through the woods. Facilities include six cabins (each sleeping 16 people), a lodge with meeting facilities, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor fire rings, kitchen, dining hall, basketball court, sports field and more.

For more information about Camp Oliver and upcoming events, please look to the information listed below.

Phone: (619)445-5945
Mailing Address PO Box 206 Descanso, CA 91916

Physical Address: 8761 Riverside Dr. Descanso, CA 91916


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