Outrageously Fun for All!

Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills near the scenic South Yuba River and Tahoe National Forest, Camp Woolman is a summer camp that embodies values of community, respect for nature, peace, and simple fun. Kids come to learn, play, make friends, and live in an accepting community where they can truly be themselves. In-camp days include morning songs and silent reflection, lots of games, some community chores, choice activities or workshops, some relaxation time, and lots of playing. Our activities include arts and crafts, nature connection, wilderness skills, swimming, farm education, cooperative games, sports, singing, group circles, and impromptu fun.

Camp Woolman Values

Camp Woolman brings Quaker Camp magic to California. We accept and celebrate people of all and any religious or spiritual beliefs, or no beliefs at all. We are not a religious camp, rather we use the Quaker beliefs of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, unity, social justice, celebrating diversity, and environmental sustainability as pillars for how we create a safe and accepting community.  We promote a culture of learning and embracing each other’s backgrounds and differences. Our small size ensures every camper is given the full love and attention they need from our counselors in order to shine. Our commitment to these values emanate in our Non-Violent Communication methods for handling conflict, the Leave-No-Trace principals we teach and practice on the trail, and the small community chores we take on with fun and laughter.

Non-Violent Communication (NVC)

Non-Violent Communication is a method of using empathy, honesty, and compassion to understand each other’s needs and to resolve conflict. Much study and training can be done under the umbrella of NVC, and we train our staff in the essentials of applying understanding, and patience for working with our campers. This is often expressed in how our staff handles behavior issues or conflict among campers.

Leave-No-Trace

Leave-No-Trace is an honored code for keeping our Wilderness Areas healthy! At Camp Woolman we teach our campers these principals, and our staff model them on every single backpacking trip.  The LNT principals are: 1) Plan ahead, 2) Only hike on durable surfaces, 3) Dispose of all waste properly, 4) Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photos, 5) Only build small campfires with minimal impact 6) Respect all wildlife, 7) Respect all other visitors of nature. Backpacking is a part of the Camp Woolman experience, but more importantly, is the love and respect for wilderness we inspire in our campers.

Celebrating Diversity

Our campers come from a variety of backgrounds, and our staff are trained in making sure each camper feels safe in our community, no matter how unique or different they or their experiences may be. Our staff training includes learning how to recognize any prejudices (racial, gender, or otherwise), as they can occur both consciously and subconsciously, and then tools for continuously shedding these prejudices throughout the summer and in life after camp. In every activity, backpacking trip, and day of camp life, our staff and campers learn the importance of diversity (even if they don’t realize it!). We continue to witness how celebrating and understanding diversity is what makes our small community so magical.

Gender Inclusivity

One of our top priorities at Camp is to ensure everyone feels comfortable being their true selves. We respect and value every camper’s choice of gender pronouns – regardless of biological sex. Upon registration, you will have the opportunity to sign-up your Wombat Campers to live in a space that best meets their needs. We offer Female and Male sleeping spaces, as well as All Gender spaces, designed to create safety for campers who do not identify as male or female as well as being available to anyone who is comfortable and excited to be living in mixed gendered spaces. All Bathhouses and Bathrooms on campus are equipped with dials instead of signs, which allow the users to choose who they feel comfortable sharing the facilities with while they are using them.

Wombat Camp (age 9-14)

Where else can you join a band of superheroes, perform a song about purple lasagna (and get a standing ovation), tye-dye your socks, make new friends, learn about bugs, and jump in a beautiful river… all in the same day?

Days at camp are full of fun, laughter, friends, food, and choices. We do lots of things together – eating meals, playing whole-camp games, singing during opening & closing circle, going to Mel’s Pond. There’s also times when you get to decide what you want to do – which activity you want to sign up for, which game you want to play, or what you want to do during free time. Counselors are always hosting activities, making sure everyone has a good and safe time. But watch out! Your counselors might turn into pirates and hijak yer cabin mates and then you’d have to go rescue them!

Other special events we do at camp include Variety Show Night, Jugs (Capture the Flag with some Woolman twists), Barbeques at Mel’s Pond, and Tie-Dyeing. It doesn’t matter who you are at school or where you are from, at camp the only person you have to impress is yourself!

Teen Leadership Camp (age 13-17)

Teen Leadership Camp sessions offer 13 – 17 year olds the chance to engage with wilderness challenges, exercise leadership on multiple levels, and practice skills vital to becoming independent backpackers and trip leaders – all while forming a truly unique and unforgettable community. Teens will go on two 3-day backpacking trips, on which they will learn important trail skills from their counselors, including trail cooking, topo map reading, orienteering, and trip planning.

Finally, in each TLC session there are always endless opportunities to cook, dance, play, swim, art and craft, and whatever else we can come up with in our breaks from hiking. Summer after summer we watch our teens become independent and confident hikers, empathetic and engaged community members, and we see them shine their brightest in the company of strong friendships, stunning mountain views, and life-long memories.

Wilderness Trips!

We also go on backpacking trips! These fun day trips & 3-day/2-night adventures are led by our experienced staff, and campers often say it was the highlight of their time at camp.

Your counselors will lead you in hiking, swimming, camping, making art, learning about nature, and becoming great friends. These trips are great for people who are new to backpacking as well as seasoned hikers. Campers go to destinations such as the famous Pacific Crest Trail, The South Yuba River, Grouse Ridge, Desolation Wilderness, and the amazing Sierra Buttes. Campers experience sleeping under the stars, hiking through beautiful places, backcountry cooking, and learning about the ecosystems and history of our surrounding wilderness.

It is our belief that these trips offer an opportunity for growth and development unique to those available elsewhere in life. The beginning of a pathway of stewardship and service to the natural environment is a two-fold process. In the first step one embraces a presence in nature. The sky, the field, the sun, the stars, the river, the trail… One is surrounded by all, and soaks it in as a member of it and a participant in its cycles. In the second step, one looks within and sees with eyes unclouded by lens or filter, screen or pane, influence or conditioning. There is time to think, to reflect, to ponder, to breathe. It is here that one may develop a sense of awe within nature, and become connected to it. All experiences are different, but the opportunity to explore them is there for everyone, and each group works to process and discuss the thoughts and insights that come up. The growth that may come of them is often nothing short of profound.

Campers come to make new friends, visit beautiful places, learn about nature, be their true selves, and have a blast! Kids come back year after year but each summer we have lots of new faces as well.

Register your campers

Camp Woolman’s 2022 season has concluded, serving 93 youth with life-changing residential camp experiences, including backpacking excursions in the High Sierras. We look forward to hosting your camper next summer in 2023! Please contact Programs Director Morgan Street (morgans@woolman.org) with questions about Camp Woolman’s 2023 season.

Thanks!

Coleen Hedglin (she/her)
Executive Director, Woolman at Sierra Friends Center
coleenh@woolman.org
office: 530-273-3183 ext. 110

Housing

At Camp Woolman, we strive to create an inclusive and welcoming environment. We will have multiple sleeping accommodations available, so that campers can feel at ease as they fall asleep. You will get to decide ahead of time whether you prefer co-ed or same gender sleeping areas. Each space will always be supervised by at least two of our awesome, professional team members.