About Camp Choice

About Camp Choice and Operation Dream

 The purpose of Camp Choice is to empower youth to create positive change in themselves and their communities by realizing the power of choice, responsibility, and their effectiveness as positive leaders.

 

Every summer for the last 18 years, kids from different housing communities around the San Francisco area have set out on a 3-hour bus ride to a ranch in Clearlake Oaks, California. High Valley Ranch is maintained by a trained staff and is specifically designed to facilitate positive change in individuals of all ages and backgrounds; it provides a refuge for the kid’s safety and peace of mind. This space and the volunteer staff make it possible for the kids to let down their guards and just be kids.

 

 During the week the kids have the opportunity to work together as a community in every exercise and event. Throughout the week there are 5 keys to community that are emphasized: leadership, respect, teamwork, responsibility, and courage. With the participants being from different neighborhoods, this is vital to the program’s mission and continued success. As the kids learn to work together in order to accomplish goals, they begin to form a bond that lasts even after they leave camp – a bond that can lead to lasting, positive friendships and support back home where it really counts. The exercises and lectures are designed around ropes courses that have been utilized in company training seminars, personal development classes, and leadership. They get a chance to work on focus, trust, and commitment to go beyond what they believe they can do and in turn, create a lasting memory of success in their lives. The week is complete with many physical and mental challenges accompanied by creative outlets such as art projects and even a talent show where they can perform songs, dances, and even skits they have created with their new found friends and fellow campers.

 

By the end of the week the kids have learned many new things about themselves and others, and gain a larger vision of what possibilities lay ahead of them and an understanding of what responsible choices and teamwork can do in their lives. And of course they have fun doing it! Almost every one of the participants desire to come back again and again. In fact, some of the campers who participated in the very first Camp Choice have now begun to return as volunteer staff, becoming an essential part of the program’s success in recent years. Its results like these that make Camp Choice and Operation Dream a committed source of community support and positive outreach.