2022 Grants Challenge

Camp for All: A Unique Summer Camp Experience for Underserved and Houseless Youth in Los Angeles

Camp for All Summer runs in the summer months each year. Over 850 underserved and houseless Hispanic, Latinx and BIPOC youth coming from the lowest-income school districts in LA will participate. We utilize classic camp activities paired with Chumash lessons and storytelling taught by actual native elders, Wilderness Hikes, Live Animal Workshops, special nature arts classes, writing workshops, and Magic lessons! This program allows youth a truly memorable summer camp experience they would otherwise never get to truly experience.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Housing and Homelessness

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

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

South LA

West LA

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

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Our true understanding of the issue of LA’s underserved and houseless youth having very limited access to playful, impactful educational outdoor activities has positively informed this program since 1993. Our knowledge of the issue we are seeking to address is based on decades of hard-won, first-hand experience, resulting in a comprehensive understanding of what challenges these underserved youth are facing. We know exactly how to utilize LA’s wonderful parks, beaches and natural land sites to maximize the health, recreational, educational and simply soul-soothing benefits which positive, formalized exposure to these amazing natural environments provides. CLF are true believers in the power of nature to relieve the stress of urban living and challenging home environments; being consciously outside is a mindfulness activity that reaps huge benefits, on so many levels. These youth are craving this type of exposure to nature and the outdoors, especially post-Pandemic.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Camp for All provides an amazing summer camp for over 850 houseless and underserved Hispanic, Latinx and BIPOC children in Los Angeles, who otherwise rarely to get participate in such a classic yet unique camp experience. Camp for All provides impactful summer camp experiences, crucial reset time-and incredible memories for participating underserved and houseless youth in L.A.. Students from Telfair Elementary will be joining us as well this summer, a school with the highest concentration of actual “houseless” students in LAUSD. They are by far the most low-income in all of the entire LA county school system- living in cars, vans, and motels with usually only their single mothers. We offer this program free-of-charge to agencies supporting underserved youth, including LA’s BEST. Native chumash education, story-telling and arts education with renowned native Elder and writer, Spirit Runner Special Educational Hikes with the Wilderness Institute Natural, unique craft workshops Amazing Live Animal Workshops Writing Workshops with local, published authors Music Circles Great Breakfasts and Lunches Backpack and school supplies Give-Aways at the end of the day The splendid outdoor camp environment of King Gillette Ranch in the Malibu Mountains gives these homeless students a truly memorable, enriching and fun camp experience, one which will positively impact them for the rest of their entire lives.

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

The Children’s Lifesaving Foundation has already seen profound success within the context of our nearly 30 years running and operating this highly successful program. We understand that exposure to nature and the outdoors-especially in a structured, recreational and impactful way-has effects that can reveberate positively, and last a lifetime. We want these youth to know that they are allowed to take advantage of LA’s free, accessible parks, historic hiking trails, and glorious beaches, that this is also THEIR Los Angeles. Camp for All is a gateway into all LA has to offer to them- in terms of experiencing the outdoors in a brand-new manner. Our vision is that partipating youth come away truly transformed, refreshed, hopeful and curious-and these effects reverberate thorughout their neighbothoods, within their friendships and families, an through their entire lives.

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

CLF have measured the impact of this program since 1993, and additionally, have witnessed the results experientially, and as well as through massive anecdotal evidence with our partner agencies. Camp for All will continue to be specifically evaluated in a very in-depth, transparent way each summer: In the 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 target and analyze more specific program needs and concerns. As we have been running this program for twenty-nine years and counting, we also rely upon anecdotal stories to shape, adjust future program endeavors, with our goal of always enriching the overall experience. Each year, we work to address the inequities that impact the youth we serve, and provide the best outdoor educational experience possible.

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

Direct Impact: 850

Indirect Impact: NaN