2021 Grants Challenge

Help CLF Bring 1,000 Underserved Youth to Surf & Wilderness Camp!

Help us send underserved youth to Summer Camp! Since 1993, more than 75,000 children have attended Camp for All, a program which provides crucial outdoor educational and positive social experiences to transitioning homeless and underserved youth from urban and shelter environments. Camp for All is designed to provide positive, educational, enriching, life-affirming outdoor experiences, which highlight care for our natural environment and marine eco-system, and aim to renew the child's sense of play and sense of hope-all in LA's own backyard!


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


County of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

According to LAHSA’s recent Homelessness Count Report, there has been a 16% increase in the homeless population in the City of LA. Youth homelessness, most tragically, increased by 24%. There is also a staggering number of LA residents who were identified as “rent-burdened.” The stress and emotional toll felt by these children and teens is very profound. Academic work suffers, access to the streets and crime is much more significant, and they are left with very few outside activities that are physically, educationally, or emotionally enriching, inspiring or fun. Couple this with the inequities experienced during the pandemic-food scarcity, limited access to nature and decreased socialization, overall instability- and the child can fall prey to feelings of great anxiety and depression. We provide access to LA's under-utilized parks and beaches, offer our wonderful, free outdoor programs, and help instill that sense of hope in the future again.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Remember the joy of being able to attend a summer camp experience with your friends, or gather with your family each year at a vacation spot, for a relaxing week of fun, swimming, boating, fishing? These experiences positively impact and form us, bond us with our natural environment, and teach us how to find peace and respite in our very own backyards. LA is filled with such magical, natural places, that many Angelenos have access to without spending much. Sadly, underserved populations often do not have the time or funds for transportation to provide these experiences for their families. Our Camp for All summer camps run in July through August each year. Over 1,000 at-risk and homeless youth will get to enjoy this inspiring program. Our Wilderness Day Camps provide classic camp activities, plus something more:Native Chumash lessons, Wilderness Intensives, swimming, ropes courses, special arts classes and writing workshops. Our Surf Camps are held at LA's classic Zuma Beach, taught by local surf legends who instill a love and respect of the ocean and provide ocean safety and marine lessons. Our Wilderness Camps are set in a beautiful location in the Santa Monica Mountains. We partner with different agencies that serve homeless and underserved youth- including Homeboy Industries, My Friend's Place, Covenant House, LA's BEST-to name a few. Our staff is skilled at both mentorship and knowledge of the natural environment. Our program allows these youth to be kids" -again."

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,000

Indirect Impact: 6,500

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The desired, measurable outcomes of Camp for All Program are: Goal 1.) To provide our youth with memorable, life-affirming, confidence-building outdoor experiences, which increases their ability to relax, de-stress, and enjoy being a child again. Outcome #1: To successfully serve over 1,000 underserved youth. Goal 2.): Highlight how easy and accessible are beaches and parks are for this population. Outcome #2: Participants will leave camp with an understanding of how they can bring their families back on their own to enjoy LA's natural backyard-on their own.Goal 3.) Provide a positive and cohesive bonding experience for the participating family-a true outing that can genuinely bring the family closer together. Outcome #3: Allow camp days for families living in downtown shelters the opportunity to participate, so they leave feeling refreshed, restored, ready to face their future with renewed hope.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Camp for All will continue to be specifically evaluated in a very in-depth, transparent way each summer, by actually surveying each participant, before and after each day camp they attend, and on the day of arrival, and the day they depart from the overnight camp. In addition in the early Fall, after the program is completed for the season, our staff requests that each individual program director from each participating organization and/or shelter to fill out a Google Form Evaluation, so that we may also target and analyze more specific program needs and concerns. As we have been running this program for twenty-six years and counting, we rely also on anecdotal stories-both positive and negative, to shape, adjust and tweak future program endeavors, with our goal of always enriching and improving the camper’s overall experience, at every level.

Which of the PLAY metrics will you impact?​

Youth sports participation

Access to open space and park facilities

Easy access to a safe park

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE