Friday, November 7, 2014

Camp Fun Fact #2: The Camp Paivika parking lot was once a revered launch pad for hang gliders.

Throughout the early to mid- 1970’s, hang gliding was picking up traction in the San Bernardino area of Little Mountain. Launching from the Camp Paivika parking lot out into Devil Canyon was a thrill conquered by only the most daring pilots, but difficult access to nearby Pine Flat made it a tempting option for many others!
Camp Paivika Parking lot

In 1976, facing the threat of their beloved sport being banned in the area, these hang gliders and others joined together and organized the San Bernardino Hang Gliding Association (SBHGA) to put pressure on city officials. In 1978, however, they lost the fight, and hang gliding activities were declared illegal within the city limits.

With the option of launching from Camp Paivika closed to them, pilots relocated to a site known to locals as Teddy Bear – the current location of the Crestline launch site – which was outside of the legal “no-glide” zone. Late in 1979, Pine Crest Air Park was also developed at the entrance to Devil Canyon. Over the next few years, the SBHGA persisted with efforts to persuade the U.S. Forest Services of the legitimacy of the sport, and to allow the continued use of the land for its practice. The pilots worked hands-on to build the required infrastructure to satisfy the permit requirements, even in the fog and rain, and up to the permit deadline. This time, they succeeded.

Today the SBHGA is known as the Crestline Soaring Society, and they continue to support and facilitate the sport of hang gliding in and around Crestline. They were instrumental in relocating hang gliders to a new area when the previous site was claimed by the Department of Water Resources; the new area – the Andy Jackson Airpark – has been in use since 1994.

Over the years these hang-gliding enthusiasts have also pulled together to host fundraising events for Camp Paivika; in the past, pilots have held “fly-a-thons” that raised money to support the campers. Along with food and entertainment, the events featured numerous hang-glider launchings that guests could enjoy – sometimes 15 or more gliders floating through the sky. Pilots even included the women’s world distance record holder, a resident of the nearby city of Tujunga.

Camp Paivika has made a home in the San Bernardino Mountains for more than 65 years. We are proud to have strong relationships with our local community, and fortunate to be able to offer such a diverse selection of activities for our guests – whether on our grounds or through neighboring businesses. If you are looking for a rental venue for your next retreat, wedding reception, or other event, consider allowing us to host it at our beautiful mountain location. There is so much to do in and around the camp that you and your guests will be talking about your experience for years to come.

To learn more, give us a call – or even better, drop by! Our friendly staff is available to answer any questions you may have, or to help you book your facility rental – just contact Camp Paivika Director Kelly Kunsek via email, or by phone at (909) 338-1102, ext. 5001. Act now and SAVE BIG – get 15% off when you mention this article!* We look forward to showing you what makes Camp Paivika so special!

AbilityFirstCampPaivika
Camp Rental Facilities


*For a limited time only. Restrictions apply. First-time renters only. Offer expires December 31, 2014.  

Camp Fun Fact #1: The word “Paivika” is a word in the Cahuilla Native American language that means “dawn.”

horse riding at camp paivikaA contest among the first campers to stay at Camp Paivika decided the name, way back in 1947. It was at that time that AbilityFirst (known then as the Crippled Children’s Society of Southern California) was granted a permit from the U.S. Forest Service to build a camp in the mountains of Crestline. Working in tandem with Lucia Laufeld - an LAUSD special education teacher who first envisioned the camp – and several others, AbilityFirst developed the first camp in the U.S. to be built specifically for children and adults with disabilities.


Children with disabilities at campAt the outset, campers and counselors stayed in tents. Over the ensuing years and decades, however, the camp would construct many new facilities which allowed them to offer the bountiful services they do today. With comfortable dormitories housing up to 130 overnight guests, swimming pool, craft center, health center, and much more, Camp Paivika has become a desirable location to host events and retreats, as well as the ongoing camps that started more than 65 years ago. It was in 1990 that camp rental became available in the off-season, and since then Paivika has emerged as a unique Los Angeles rental venue and outdoor retreat option.
hikers in the forest

1998 saw the completion of a new lodge, which only materialized
after 20 years of planning and fundraising. That lodge today is host to beautiful wedding receptions, family reunions, business retreats and much more. The heartfelt efforts of Camp Paivika’s founders, along with the involvement of all the donors and community members that have grown it into what it is today, can be seen in the warm details and friendly faces that abound at the camp. Paivika has proven to be the perfect name for this place – whether you are watching the dawn softly rising through the pines, or reflecting in the warm, sunny smiles of people around you, its presence is inspiring.

If you are looking for a rental venue for your next event, give us a call – or even better, drop by! Our friendly staff is available to answer any questions you may have, or to help you book your facility rental – just contact Camp Paivika Director Kelly Kunsek via email, or by phone at (909) 338-1102, ext. 5001. Act now and SAVE BIG – get 15% off when you mention this article!* We look forward to showing you what makes Camp Paivika so special!

AbilityFirstCampPaivika
Camp Rental Facilities

*For a limited time only. Restrictions apply. First-time renters only. Offer expires December 31, 2014.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

AbilityFirst Camp Paivika Summer Camp Programs

Summer is the time for fun!  At Camp Paivika, we know that having disabilities never gets in the way of both children and adults having fun at summer camp!  A typical day in the Camp Paivika Summer Program is full of exciting activities for everyone!

Swimming
·         Fenced in, heated pool with 2 shallow ends and wheelchair ramp.
·         Supervised by American Red Cross Certified lifeguards.
·         Non-instructional program.
·         One-on-one, in-pool support is available for campers who need it.

Horseback Riding
·         Experienced gentle horses led and walked by trained staff.
·         Riders protected by helmets and safety belt and supported on either side by staff.
·         Inclusive program accommodates non-ambulatory campers requiring extra support.
·         Those who are unable or prefer not to ride can still safely pet, feed and groom horses in modified corral areas.

Adaptive Sports and Recreation
·         Designed to improve physical coordination and strength: archery, baseball, bowling, obstacle courses, broom hockey and Frisbee golf.
·         Designed to enhance concentration and promote socialization: Bingo, board games, card games.
·         Activities adapted for accessibility and for different age groups according to ability levels.

Creative Arts and Crafts
·         Tie-dye and beading projects, ceramics, painting and other traditional camp crafts.
·         Campers explore their artistic side and experience a sense of accomplishment with activities encouraging self-expression and hand-eye coordination.

Performing Arts
·         Creative movement, acting games and music making.
·         Staged musicals are performed in outdoor amphitheater with entire camp in attendance.
·         Grand finale of each session is the camp talent show where campers have the opportunity to share their talents on stage!

Nature Studies
·         Games and crafts incorporate elements of the beautiful surrounding mountain and forest environment.
·         Guided hikes on safe trails accessible for wheelchair users.
·         Explored themes of wildlife, trees and conservation give campers a deeper appreciation for nature.

Evening Program
·         Brings full camp together.
·         Activities include campfires, Game Show Night, carnivals, dances, karaoke, scavenger hunts for children, and casino nights for adults.

Other Activities
·         Trips to nearby Lake Gregory (adults only).
·         Overnight forest campouts under the stars (adults only).

Please check out our Camp Paivika website to see more about our summer programs, beautiful facilities, and caring staff!

Campers hiking on a path through the forest

Camp Paivika creates transformational life experiences for children and adults with disabilities and their families.

AbilityFirst stands for, and alongside, people with disabilities and their families.  We offer a broad range of programs and services to help children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their personal best.

www.abilityfirst.org

Monday, September 15, 2014

AbilityFirst’s Camp Paivika: an exceptional special needs camp for people with disabilities.

Child with special needs in camp swimming pool

Going away to camp can provide some of the most memorable experiences for both children and adults.  Having disabilities shouldn't prevent anyone from creating these cherished memories.  That’s why Camp Paivika exists: it offers children, teens, and adults with disabilities a traditional camp experience delivered with nurturing support.

Camp Paivika offers a broad range of recreational and socialization programs for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.  Our programs allow campers to make friends, try new things and become more confident. Families are often surprised to find loved ones returning home with a new, can-do spirit, independently choosing clothes for the day, tying their shoes or brushing their teeth without assistance. And, of course, families appreciate the respite they can take from the rigors and challenges of providing 24/7 care.
The quality and variety of choices we offer is second to none.  AbilityFirst provides continuity of age-appropriate programs, appealing to diverse individual interests and needs - beginning in childhood and continuing throughout an adult’s life.
Please check out our Camp Paivika website to see more about our wonderful camp, which is located in Southern California’s beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, and has been operated by AbilityFirst since 1947.  We’ve helped thousands of children and adults with disabilities make friends, try new things and become more confident and independent. And, as campers enjoy their Paivika experience, families can rest assured knowing that their loved ones are safe, cared for and occupied with a full slate of fun.
AbilityFirst stands for, and alongside, people with disabilities and their families.  We offer a broad range of programs and services to help children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their personal best.
Camp Paivika – offering children, teens and adults with disabilities a traditional camp experience delivered with nurturing support.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Day 2 was full of excitement as the last dance of the summer was about to happen. The day went well with four full rounds of activities. In arts and crafts, campers painted their own tribal mask. Nature went on a nature hike. Sports and Rec had fun with races and obstacle courses, and the action in the pool was full of splishing and splashing. The dance began with high energy. As the night progressed, the music played on until the very end. Tonight was also camp out night, where campers were treated to the movie Monsters University, and then fell asleep out under the stars.
Don't forget to click on the word photos to check out the rest of the session and summer photos.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The first day of session 7 began without a hitch. Our campers showed up excited and all smiles. Once our check in procedure was completed, our campers moved on to decorate their bags. After a lunch consisting of meatball subs and potato chips, they went off to the cabins to unpack and settle in. That afternoon, the fire drill commenced where campers learned all about camp safety. Activities began and they went on until dinner. That night at opening campfire, all of our paivikians were introduced and were also entertained by camp songs and skits. The night ended with a singing of Taps and off to bed everyone went, happy and exhausted.
Also, don't forget to click on the gray word Photos above to visit the Flickr page to see all of the session photos and all of the photos for the entire summer.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tonight at Paivika, we hosted our weekly talent show night. Almost all of our campers performed an act. Some dressed in costumes, some just wanted to be highlighted as they really are. Our acts included everything from dancing, to singing. Most chose to rock the mic, but some wowed the audience with their dancing skills. As each camper came out to the stage, they were met with an astounding wave of cheers and clapping. Our staff joined in on the fun during several acts as backup dancers and partners. Some of the songs that were performed included tracks from the movie Frozen, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Lincoln Park and Others. It was an amazing talent show.
Don't forget to click on the word Photo at the top to visit our Flickr page to view the rest of the session photos.