Since the purchase of the North 40 property, everyone has been dreaming of what we can do with our newly purchased land! Courtney, Clayton, and Angie have begun writing a business plan to assess all the possibilities for our camp! It’s an exciting time at Happy Valley.
Tim thought it would be a great idea to visit some other campgrounds in the area, especially ones that newly renovated their grounds. We visited three: Mission Springs, Camp Harmon, and YMCA Camp Campbell as well as the UCSC Farm.
Each were incredible in different ways. Mission Springs was MASSIVE. They operate out of Scotts Valley and have a Conference Center grounds as well as a Resident and Day Camping program that operate at the same time. They have multiple dining facilities, and even a coffee house. They had a GORGEOUS chapel. Angie exclaimed, “Yeeeeeeeep. I’m getting married here!” because it was so beautiful.
YMCA Camp Campbell also had impressive new facilities (including a pool with a slide which Courtney and I were very excited about an contemplated using to beat the heat). Karli was very excited to see the gardening project they have going. It is a feasible progression for Happy Valley and also very beautiful, whereas the UCSC farm is just massive. We LOVED their treetop lodge. Oh my goodness! Fancy ADA accessible walkways, up in the trees, nice bunks with their own lamps and closets, two showers in a large, spacious bathroom? HEAVEN!
Camp Harmon definitely felt the most like Happy Valley in terms of hospitality and service. They serve populations with Mental and Physical disabilities. I was really touched by how loving, humble, and kind all the staff were. They also had a great farm program and lots of animals. WE SAW TEACUP PIGS!!! They were adorable. Additionally, they had Americorps staff working on the grounds. It never registered to me that Americorps would also operate on campgrounds. The wheels are turning in my Human Services major head….
In addition to our camp visits, we also visited the UCSC farm and Henry Cowell state park. Both were gorgeous! We gained great new ideas for all the conceptual projects and had a great time exploring other careers in camping.