Saturday, July 3, 2010

The connection II

. . . headed back to camp. Kids from Long Beach Return today, among them some of the YMCA's best Counselors In Training.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Every Child has a Parent

Camp was magic last week. We had a group of kids sponsored by the YMCA. It is so hard to convey the feeling of children laughing and clapping as the moon showed through the sequoia trees that seemed as a dome for an open air cathedral--at the center, a blazing camp fire, which they danced around. As I watched, I thought: each of those 34 children had a parent, a guardian angel that did the best they could do, with the resources that they have. Yes, there are cast systems, and subsystems, that a child can get caught in for life if someone does not open the doors to opportunity. We would often think that is the role of our educational system, but there is no better teacher than nature. The wilderness leaves no part of the senses untouched, and children and experience the greatest teacher and healer of all times--Mother Nature.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The connection

This morning, I thought of all of things that I have not accomplished . . . and all of things that I have, with various degrees of insight. The one thing that I know for sure is that the world is connected, we are connected! Not only are we connected with each other, but with the mountains, streams and rivers. We are connected by That which some call God. At the Pythian Youth Camp, we try and help children reestablish that connection, and with it the opportunity to break free of artificial circumstances that bind them to behaviors that threaten their well being.

Opening the Gates of Summer

It was a hard winter in the Sequoia National Forest! It is now mid-June, and snow has just cleared enough to give us access to camp, and to begin opening the gates of summer at the Pythian Youth Camp.

Following a 64-year old tradition, Pythian brothers from the Fresno Knights of Pythian Lodge NO. 138, volunteers, and contractors were combing the site—they removed storm doors and windows from cabins, cleared fallen trees, fixed plumbing, raked brush, checked electrical systems, and enjoyed the season’s first campfires.

Tim and Obie Perry, along with another old-timer displaying his wrinkled, bruised, cut up, and dirty hands, told stories about early days at camp when entire families made the journey from Fresno and other cities to help prepare the camp for five-weeks of summer fun for disadvantaged urban youth from around the state of California.

There was a feint echo in his reflections of friends and families making the trip 7,000 feet into the Sequoia Wilderness to share stories of yesterday while preparing a place where today’s youth might experience the wonder of wilderness camping, which would begin by the first of July.

The 2010 the camping season begins on June 28, with a compliment of 40 youth from the City of Long Beach, through the Downtown Long Beach YMCA. Bob Cabeza, the Executive Director of the Y will team with or Camp Manager Toni Mendez to provide training for camp counselors.

The Pythian Youth camp was established in 1946 under the signature of President Harry S. Truman, and is the only land grant camp in the United States. It is operated under the umbrella of the Pythian Youth Foundation of CA, public nonprofit corporation.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Celebrity Roast


On September 30, 2010, the Pythian Youth Foundation will host its first Celebrity Roast in Long Beach, as a fund raiser to help send children to camp. We will roast former Long Beach City Councilman Ray Grabinski, and current Councilwoman for the 8th District, Rae Gabilich, and expect wall-to-wall dignitaries. Stay tuned in for more information, and find out how you may use this opportunity to advertise your company. For information, contact me at:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Youth Camp

Contact Thomas White, Executive Director, Pythian Youth Foundation of CA, Inc. Email:
Visit our website at: