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Parents rally for Camp KEEP - 2009/05/23 16:58 SOURCE: http://www.kvsun.com/articles/2009/05/23/news/doc4a12eb8609a8c301368369.txt
From the May 20, 2009 Kern Valley Sun
PARENTS RALLY FOR CAMP KEEP
Susan Barr and Cathy Perfect, Kern Valley Sun

Sam Adams, a fifth grader at Kernville Elementary School, stood at the podium at last week’s Kernville Union School District meeting, determined to let the Board of Trustees know how disappointed he would be if he missed out on his Camp Keep experience next year.

Adams was just one of a large group of concerned parents, students and teachers that attended the May 12 meeting to voice disapproval of the board’s decision to take the costly annual Camp Keep field trip out of the 2009-2010 budget. Heather Berry, a PTC parent of Kernville Elementary students, addressed the board as the spokesperson for those challenging the removal of Camp Keep as a district budget line item.
Berry detailed how the “Keep Camp KEEP” group had raised pledges in the sum of several thousands of dollars in a very short period.

She made a passionate plea for the board to reconsider “34 years of tradition” and spoke about the importance of such a trip coming at a crucial time in an adolescent’s development.

Speaking directly to the Board, Berry said, "So what can you do…get out your pens! Cause here it is… first of all embrace this effort and join our forces. Do not leave it to us. Do not make this an ‘us and them’.

“Roll up your sleeves, Board members, and get involved. Come to our brainstorming meeting May 19. Contact your friends, access your connections, meet with us to share ideas, phone me, agree to get on the Dam Tough (sic) Radio show to fund-raise and inform, write an editorial to the paper, come to the fundraisers and help us set up tables, make a pledge of $269 to send a counselor to camp, help us find a grant writer..!!

“And yes,” continued Berry, “if you can find any amount of money to put Camp Keep back in the budget as a line item that would help to create a precedent for future years. You know as well as I do that things have greater value when we paid something for it, even the tiniest amount. Because once this board completely erases Camp Keep from their view… it will never come back."

She wrapped up her 20-minute presentation by challenging the board, “Please look into why other schools in the county are not finding it necessary to pull out of Camp Keep. What are they doing differently?”

In a telephone interview at a later time, Tom Anspach, Director of Camp Keep did confirm that no other school had in fact pulled out as of the time Berry had contacted him. However, he added, “Many other schools have had to take similar action as the KUSD board in that they informed parents that the money is just not there. Those parents and students must themselves raise the entire amount required for the trip.”

PHOTO BELOW:
Looking a bit weary, Tesse Monahan, center, a third grader at Kernville Elementary School, holds a “Keep Camp KEEP” banner during the May 12 Kernville Union School District Board of Trustees meeting. Her older sister, Tara, is in the fifth grade and is in the class that currently has no reservation to attend Camp KEEP.

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OPINION: KEEPING CAMP KEEP - 2009/05/23 17:04 SOURCE: http://www.kvsun.com/articles/2009/05/20/opinion/columns/doc4a12ec7cee31d800804633.txt
From the May 20, 2009 Kern Valley Sun
KEEPING CAMP KEEP
Amber Siratt

Twenty-one years ago this month my sixth grade classmates and I boarded a bus at Wallace Elementary School and made the much-anticipated trip to Camp KEEP (Kern Environmental Education Program) at Montana de Oro State Park on the central coast.

If you’ve had the chance to go, it’s something you’ll never forget. The unique learning experience of Camp KEEP is the reason why my memories of the trip are very much with me. Exploring and learning about the environment in an up-close and personal way taught me more about science than any text book or chapter test could have. Each day of the five-day trip was a new adventure, from the trek up Valencia Peak to the wonder of the tide pools to the memorable campfire songs I share these memories still today with my friends who made the trip with me and with my niece who made the trip with her sixth grade class last year. It saddens me to learn that next year’s sixth grade class trip to Camp KEEP has been jeopardized by budget woes. A movement is afoot to raise money for future trips to Camp KEEP. Brainstorming sessions and othe activities are in the works.

For those wanting to contribute to the “Keeping Camp KEEP” fund, checks should be made out to Colt Booster Club. Noted specifically to Camp KEEP 2009-2010. and people should request a tax deduction receipt. You may take your pledge to the front office at Woodrow Wallace School, drop it in the mail "P.O. Box 3077, Lake Isabella, CA 93240, or make arrangements with a member of "Keep Camp Keep" to connect your dollars to the fund.

PHOTO BELOW:
A scene from 21 years ago inside Camp KEEP’s geodesic dome during one of the week’s evening science lessons when we learned about birds of prey.

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KEEP CAMP KEEP - 2009/06/05 18:50 Keep Camp KEEP

Camp KEEP is a unique opportunity for sixth grade students to learn in a science camp setting. It is a proven, effective and efficient outdoor program. Camp KEEP is a leader in the field of alternative education for middle school students. Camp KEEP opened in 1968 and serves over 7,000 students each year. Their curriculum stresses the most up-to-date concepts and hands-on activities in the environmental education field. A professionally trained staff of naturalists, food service workers, and maintenance personnel manage the day to day operations. The curriculum is taught by staff naturalists who lead hikes and conduct evening and campfire programs. Participating students gain an educational and social experience at KEEP that cannot be matched in a classroom setting.

For thirty-four consecutive years the 6th grade class of Wallace Middle School, of the Kernville Union School District has attended Camp KEEP. District and Associated Student body funding for this program has been cut. The Colt Booster Club, a parent/teacher financial support organization is seeking financial aid to continue this vital experience for our students, next year & in the years ahead.

The total cost to send and transport 80 students and 10 counselors to Camp KEEP for 5 days of scientific study is $26,000.

    Cost per student $269 x 80 students = $21,520

($12,000.00 is raised by student’s parents simply paying for all or a portion of their child’s trip of ($150 partial cost or full cost of $269), or by accessing opportunities embedded in 6th grade class activities to support students fundraising for them to attend Camp KEEP. Activities may include the selling of “Colt Cards”, “Laps for Learning school event, selling Caesar’s Pizza Fund Raisers, etc.)
    Cost per counselor $269, 10 counselors are required = $2,690
    3 teachers to attend at $269= $807
    Transportation= $1,000
    Total Cost = (rounded) $26,000
    Expected Student and Parent contributions @ $150/student = $12,000
    Remaining Balance= (amount of previous District and ASB contributions) $14,000

Historically the Kernville Union School District and Associated Student Body [ASB] have shared the cost with students Due to the financial cut backs, the school district and ASB can no longer contribute to this experience. The burden of raising the full $26,000 falls on students, parents & the community.

The Colt Boosters Club is asking for community support to raise the $26,000 to secure one of the 8 remaining slots at Camp Keep for this coming school year. Help is requested in sponsoring a student that may not be able to pay the full amount ($269) or sponsor a counselor or teacher ($269) or just contribute funding towards the $26,000 goal. The Booster club will be sponsoring a number of activities to raise funds. Please contribute and participate.

Over $10,500 has been raised so far
with help from local businesses, community members, school staff, and individual donations/matching fund donations. Even in this early beginning, new partnerships are being established, with the Kern High School District, the Kern Valley Sun, numerous restaurants, WINGS, Big Water Ranch, California Water Co., Run 4 A Way, KVPAC, Dress Me Up, Kissack Ranch, Isabellaflora, Rotary, H Berry Counseling Services, Kern River Tours, Artist Alten, Kern Kids, Fair-Spalding matching funds, and many more.

Contributions are tax deductible (tax ID # 956001766) are handled through the Colt Boosters of KUSD, Attn: Keep Camp KEEP, PO Box 3077 Lake Isabella, CA 93240-3077. Any funds raised over the needs for the 2009-2010 school year will be rolled over to support Camp KEEP attendance the next year. Thank you for your support!!

For information: Steve Anderson sca_93292@yahoo.com


Camp KEEP www.campkeep.org
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6-4-09: The fund has just passed $13,000. - 2009/06/08 17:25 June 4 at 5:29pm

The fund has just passed $13,000. Excellent momentum!!!! Let's KEEP it up!

This off Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=83199705908

This Facebook group was created to rally support for sending our valley's 6th graders to the environmental, hands-on educational, naturalist experience of Camp Keep. Students spend 5 days near Montano de Oro, learning about aquatic life, discovering past cultures, understanding geology, walking in the forest and dunes, and growing up! It is an important journey, and often the first big overnight away from parents.

We are seeking financial foundations through donations, fundraisers, and grants and we could use your help! Come to the board meetings, read the paper, join our group to be a part of the solution, and donate!

Please make your checks out to "Colt Booster Club", attention: Camp KEEP 2009-2010, and ask for a tax deduction receipt. You may take your pledge to the front office at our local school in Lake Isabella, drop it in the mail "P.O. Box 3077, Lake Isabella, CA 93238, or make arrangements with a member of "Keep Camp Keep" to connect your $ to the fund.

We need to collect our pledges before the June 23rd Board Meeting when the school district will make the decision regarding reserving a place for 80 students at next year's Camp Keep.
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Re:6-4-09: The fund has just passed $13,000. - 2009/06/17 07:54 Kern Valley Sun Opinion > Letters
STUDENTS ASK SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP CAMP KEEP
SOURCE: http://www.kvsun.com/articles/2009/06/16/opinion/letters/doc4a1c440f77c4c916027761.txt
Published on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 10:23 PM PDT
My name is Evan Moore. My most memorable Camp KEEP experience was doing back flips off the sand dunes. At Camp KEEP I learned about all types of habitats and wildlife. It is a great experience for 6th graders because it caps off all the Earth Science that they have been studying all year. Possible solutions for getting money for Camp KEEP is: start doing fundraising in 5th grade and continue in 6th grade for this amazing program.

Evan Moore
Kernville

Last year I had the best experience
of my life so far, Camp KEEP. The best part about my trip was getting to just be there learning science and meeting all the new people from the other school that came with us. The food, the counselors, and the hikes that we went on were awesome.

I learned so many helpful things at Camp KEEP. Because the sixth grade class goes, they get a lot of experience with hands-on science. I thought that it was cool that I didn’t think about television, my phone, or the Internet.

I think that if they started savings up money in 5th grade and the money got carried over to their 6th grade account they would be able to go.

Haleigh Siratt
Lake Isabella

Donations can be made to help support the continuation of the camp keep experience. Please make your checks Payable to: Colt Booster Club, with ‘2009-2010 Camp Keep’ on memo line, and send them to:

Woodrow Wallace Middle School
P.O. Box 3077
Lake Isabella, CA 93240

1 comment(s)
Reginald P. Buamgrat wrote on May 26, 2009 11:24 PM:
" These letters have opened my eyes to just how important Camp KEEP is. No kid should miss it. I think that the idea of starting fundraisers in the 5th grade is a great one. I hope the KUSD Board of Trustees will get behind you kids and come up with ways to keep this program going. "
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6-25-09 Update - 2009/06/25 06:20 Heather Berry provided an update on our efforts to the most recent KVUSD Board Meeting and Camp KEEP was on the agenda. The school board is on the brink of signing the contract that will secure the next 6th grade class a reservation to attend camp KEEP!!!!

They want to see the money and we are almost at the benchmark.... so if you have pledged money and need to make your payment, or were even considering making a donation...now is the time!!! Urgency is upon us to secure a spot. You can make your contribution by contacting myself,Heather Berry 417 2392, Pam Alten 376 1937, or Deb Monahan 379 4959!!!!

We are just about there to make a reservation!!! Once a reservation is made then we need to raise the remaing amount with the kids and 6th grade parents... I am so impressed with the generosity and committment to our valley's kids,their enrichment and the vision of science education for the future!!! Look for upcoming Camp Keep events!
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