The weekend of July 14-17, 2016 marks the last of Web of Life Field (WOLF) School’s DIY Family Camps for the summer 2016 season, culminating in the biggest season since they began the camp program 5 years ago.
Tucked away in the stunning redwood forest high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains, WOLF School’s DIY Family Camp brings families from throughout the Monterey and San Francisco bay area together for a weekend of outdoor exploration and relaxation at Little Basin Cabins and Campgrounds, a California State Park and part of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
WOLF School is a nonprofit organization providing residential outdoor environmental education and team building programs at multiple camps throughout California. Each school year, 3,500 K-12 students attend WOLF School and learn their mission of “building respect, appreciation and stewardship within the web of life” during hand-on outdoor activities that inspire and engage. WOLF School’s professionally-trained naturalists lead fun programs that are NGSS-aligned and support classroom curriculum, and encourage students to become life-long learners—continuing their respect, appreciation and stewardship of nature and each other once back in their communities. To help continue this connection, WOLF School began offering family camp in 2011 as a way for students to share the wonder, joy and impact of the outdoors that they experienced with their families.
In its first summer, WOLF School’s DIY Family Camp was held one weekend at Little Basin and served 6 families from the Santa Cruz area. Now in its 5th year, as families return from past years and new ones join, WOLF School was able to offer 3 DIY Family Camp weekends during the summer 2016 season, bringing 21 families to Little Basin. Families are now coming from San Jose and surrounding cities and for many, it is their first time camping. It is thanks to the WOLF School alumni that this growth has occurred: students are teaching their families how fun it can be to spend time in nature, marveling at the beauty of the forest and experiencing the empowerment that comes from outdoor adventures.
During DIY Family Camp, families bond during family softball games, guided nature hikes, shared meals, and musical campfires. WOLF School’s naturalists guide kids in outdoor activities, allowing the adults some much deserved relaxation times, and kids are able to continue their journey of being life-long learners.
"My kids feel safe exploring with the other camp kids without the parents always there,” shares the McArthur Family, who has attended WOLF School’s DIY Family Camp every summer since it began in 2011. “The kids connect and grow independently with the naturalist-led activities. We look forward to the continued annual tradition!"
A long-running practice of California State Parks, WOLF School adopted the idea of family camp in 2011 after a chain of events brought them to Little Basin, one California State Parks newest additions. Little Basin was added to Big Basin Redwoods State Park in 2011 thanks to a partnership with the Peninsula Open Space Trust and Sempervirens Fund. Shortly after, WOLF School moved their office to Little Basin and added the camp as a program space when their property management partner, United Camps, Conferences & Retreats (UCCR) acquired the campground.
Click here to find WOLF School's upcoming summer camp schedule!