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!

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!

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!

·         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.

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.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Today at camp, we hosted “Campers Choice Night.” Campers were able to choose which activity they wanted to participate in. The choices were a game of Jeopardy/Family Feud or the jousting tournament. After only a few minutes into the activity, the competition was getting fierce. In the jousting tournament, the pool noodles were flying and the crowd was cheering loudly. As each competitor took their turn, the points were accumulating and the energy was amazing. During the game show, the teams were adding up the score as each camper kept adding points to their side with each correct answer. At the end of the night, both the jousting tournament and the game show were very close competitions.
Don't forget to click on the Photo link at the top of this post to access the Flickr page to see all of the sessions photos.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Today Camp Paivika had another wonderful day. Activities kicked off as usual. The horse program was in full swing, as well as the rest but the big excitement was all about the dance. As our paivikians showed up to the music playing, the energy began to rise. All of our campers were looking their best, and good times were had by all.
Don't forget to click on the big gray word “Photo” at the top of this post to go to the Flickr page in order to see all of this sessions photos.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Session 6 at Camp Paivika begins with a cool bright day. The past few days, it rained very hard in the mountains, so we were left with fresh mountain air. Our paivikians arrived with smiles and much excitement. After the check in process, our campers moved on to decorating their bags. Lunch soon followed with chicken sandwiches and potato chips. After rest period, our session fire drill commenced and then campers went on to their first activities. Dinner was a delicious pot roast with seasoned garlic potatoes. A short while later, our opening campfire began. Campers were entertained by staff and fellow campers performing skits and songs. Campers were also able to introduce themselves to everyone. The night ended with our singing of TAPS and off to bed everyone went. This was a very good opening day of session 6.
We would also like to remind everyone to click on the grey word that says PHOTOS at the top of this page. It will take you directly to the Flickr page so that you can view all of the sessions/summers photos. See the last post for more information. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

To all of our parents and guardians of our campers. This blog entry is just a reminder for those who are not aware or have forgotten.... Camp Paivika has a Flickr page that hosts every single picture taken throughout the summer. This page even includes a lot of photos that do not make it onto the blog or into camper journals. To access this page and all of the wonderful photos simply click on the big grey word that says PHOTOS (as seen below in the picture). That is a link that will take you directly to the Flickr albums page. Once there, simply choose which session your camper was in and you will see all of the photos for the entire session. This is updated daily, so please feel free to check in on it throughout the week. Thank you for your attention.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Today was a day of excitement here at Camp Paivika. Our Paivikians were happy that today was talent show day! The talent show started off with high energy and excitement as our acts began on stage. Each of our campers were able to shine like superstars, as they sang, danced, and showed off their martial arts expertise. Up here at camp we have so much talent, that we could not contain it all in one night so tomorrow night at closing campfire, we will continue the second half of the show.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day three begins at Camp Paivika with a breakfast of eggs mixed with diced ham and mushrooms, with an English muffin. The daily activities begin with horse rides and candle making, sports games and of course the ever popular swimming in the pool. Fast forward to the camp dance. Before hand, all of the guys and gals dressed up to look their best and as the music played on, everyone danced into the night. The sports court was buzzing with energy as the cupid shuffle played along with other party favorites. The dance ended with the famous Cha Cha Slide and then taps.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 2 begins at camp with a breakfast of fresh blueberry pancakes and juice. Next up the daily activities begin. Today we offered archery, horse riding, bath mitt making, swimming, songwriting, and a nature hike. Later, in the evening we played life sized board games featuring Checkers, Chutes and Ladders, and Candyland. Each camper played the part of one of the game pieces. After three rotations of 20 minutes each, all campers were able to be a part of all three games. The night ended with taps and

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Session 5 of the 2014 season at Camp Paivika is now underway. The day started with a nice semi-warm day with lots of spotty cloud coverage. As our campers arrived, our staff greeted each one and helped with bags and introductions. After rest period, we had our camp fire drill, and then jumped right into taking the camp photo. Activity 4 then began and our guests got a taste of our activities that we have planned. At night, we had our opening campfire where everyone was introduced, and we entertained with songs and skits. The day ended with taps and everyone went off to bed, excited to be starting the next day.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Once again, Camp Paivika had a wonderful day. We started the day with eggs, bacon and toast. Then we moved on to our normal day of activities consisting of a sports trivia race in sports and rec, acting and skit play in performing arts, piggy mask making in arts and crafts, mini horse grooming and lassoing in nature, and the daily all camp swim in the pool. We ended the day with a mixture of the Price Is Right and Mine Craft, in which the campers played games to win fort pieces, and then had to build a fort that not only had to be big enough to fit at least three of their cabin mates, but also had to hold up to an attack by the program staff with pool noodles. As the sun set, the day ended successfully as per the norm up here at the happiest place in the San Bernardino mountains. We would also like to once again extend our thanks to the LA5 Rotary Club Of Los Angeles and to all of our volunteers. We would not be able to do this without your help and hard work.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 3 begins with another beautiful dawn. Our young paivikians wake up to a delicious breakfast of pancakes and syrup. The daily activities include horse rides in our horse program, a game of reverse capture the flag in sports and rec, ceramic painting in arts and crafts, a bug hunt in nature, and skits and acting in our performing arts program. In the afternoon, we had our daily all camp swim in the beautiful new pool. Later that night we had our talent show. Our campers were able to show off their talent in singing, dancing, acting and karate skills. This week, we would like to make special mention of our LA5 Rotary Club Of  Los Angeles. They have worked hard to make gracious donations and have helped out Camp Paivika in many ways. This week is also Mega-Volunteer week. We would like to thank The LA5 Rotary Club and all of our volunteers this session. You are all a welcomed part of the greater Paivikian family.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Today at Camp Paivika was full of fun activities. In arts and crafts we once again were visited by master ceramicists Chuck and Neil. Our horses were busy providing rides. In Sports and Rec we had obstacle course races. In Performing Arts, our stage was full of costumed characters performing skits. Nature oversaw the nature walk, where campers explored different areas of camp and collected specimens for show and tell. Our pool was again host to an all camp swim, where our young Paivikians cooled off in the summer sun. The day ended with the session dance where everyone danced the night away until it was time for bed.
Day 1 of session 4 begins with a lot of smiling faces. Some new and some returning. After check in and bag decorating, we had a lunch of pastrami sandwiches surrounding by crispy onion rings. After rest period, our session fire drill commenced. A short time later, we had our first all camp swim of the session. As usual, our young Paivikians enjoyed our new pool. The day ended with opening campfire consisting of camp skits and songs. Today was an excellent day!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Today at camp, we had our campers choice activity.  They had a choice between swimming, Yoga, archery, songwriting and terrariums. Our paivikains had a great time. Later in the evening, campers had a choice between a night swim, soccer, and karaoke. Session nine is soon coming to an end, having only one more day left. This page is a reflection of different occasions throughout the session.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Yesterday, our Paivika Olympic Games kicked off. We started night 6 with a relay race, in which campers had to race carrying an Olympic wand to a partner who then had to take the wand and finish the race. On the sports court, our ball toss began. Campers had to toss a ball into the field of play where they scored a certain amount of points. Over by the health care center, we had the hula hoop challenge. Contestants had to fit their entire team inside of a hula hoop before the opposing team. Over on the upper lawn, our obstacle course provided plenty of fun for our paivikans. The object was to run carrying a big plastic egg balanced on a wooden spoon. Then crawl through a tunnel, hula hoop five times, and hit a ball into a net with a hockey stick. Day 7 continues with two rounds of human pinball, where contestants must hit a ball into a goal by getting past the bumpers played by staff. We also have giant sized rock, paper, scissors. In this game, contestants from each team must run to the center of the circle, and with their whole body pick either rock, paper or scissors. And lastly, we have Battle ball. Here, contestants all gather in a very large circle, and are randomly tossed a special ball. They will then toss the ball back to the host in the center of the circle. On the ball are markings that give out orders. Whatever the order says, is what everyone or a selected individuals must do. Our games conclude tonight. By the end of the day, all of our campers will become camp Olympians.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Camp Paivika has yet another great day. We began the day with a breakfast of chicken fried steak, gravy and biscuits. Our daily activities then commenced. The pool was the perfect temperature. Muretta our camp horse was at the dock offering gentle rides through the forest. On the sports court, there was an intense game of street hockey in sports and rec. In arts and crafts our budding artists were busy creating master pieces. Nature was busy with a nature hike around camp. In fine arts, they were donning costumes and performing skits. Lunch was a delicious meal of baked potatoes with all of the toppings, and chilli. Dinner however was very special. It was Dominoes pizza night. The dining hall was filled with cheers and happy campers. Afterward, our talent show commenced. Our performers rocked on stage and made the whole camp get up, dance and sing along. Our campers went off to bed excited and tired.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Today at Camp Paivika, there was a lot of excitement. We began the day with our trip to Lake Gregory. Our Paivikians beat the summer heat with a nice cool dip in the lake. We rented paddle boards, and water cycles and had a blast. Midway through the day, we stopped for a lunch break consisting of fresh fruit, granola and some chicken wraps. After we returned to camp, our campers became excited by the thought of the evening program...the session dance! The music began, the Paivikians showed up to the sports court dressed to dance the night away. By the end of the night, everyone was happy and tired.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Today was a very exciting day here at Camp Paivika. We started our day with our honored friends and guests Chuck and Neil. They taught the campers how to make some very cool ceramics. Our campers created some master art works. Later that night, we had a blast playing the game show Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader. Laughs and cheers were shared as it was boys vs girls, the girls scoring the big win. Afterward, everyone enjoyed our outdoor movie presentation of Despicable Me 2. As the movie ended, the lights went out and they fell asleep out under the stars on the upper lawn. Another great day here at Paivika.

Tonight was casino night at Camp Paivika. Our bingo area was crowded because it is one of the most popular areas during casino night. However, the Blackjack and Craps tables were also crowded. Our Roulette wheel only had a few players but the seats were always full. The sounds of cheers from the wins could be heard from outside. The music played gently in the background, and the atmosphere was one of continuous fun. The prizes were flowing like water and when the night came to an end, everyone was ready for bed. As the crowd was leaving, it was very apparent that we had a camp full of happy campers.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

As Camp Paivika's third session begins, the clouds roll in just in time to offer some relief from the burning sun. Campers arrived to cheers from our staff, welcoming them to their home for nine days. During the fire drill, everyone payed close attention to Kelly as she explained what to do in the event of an emergency. Later for dinner everyone enjoyed a delicious meal consisting of ribs and potato salad with a corn cob on the side. That night for evening program we had our opening campfire in which all of our campers were introduced. Afterward, they were all entertained by our staff performing skits and songs including the original Camp Paivika song from way back when camp was first founded. As the sun set over the horizon, everyone happily went to be tired and eager to start the next day.

Monday, June 30, 2014

It's day four of the session and we began things with a delicious breakfast of yogurt and bagels. The morning activities were filled with fun under the sun. In arts and crafts, our campers painted their own wooden snake. Sports and rec was out on the lawn with a very fun obstacle course Performing arts had costume play outside around the amphitheater and in nature campers made some colorful gak.  After a chicken strip lunch, we said good-by to some of our campers and then moved on to the all camp swim. After ward, anticipation grew as everyone knew that after our lovely dinner of pot roast and garlic potatoes, we were going to have our circus show. The night was filled with laughs and cheer as our young Paivikans took place in the build your own float parade, and then moved on to be entertained by our staff performing acrobatics, juggling, magic and dancing. At the end of the night, everyone headed off to the cabins for bedtime, happy and tired.  Today was another great day here in the wilds of Camp Paivika.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Today was another great day up here at Camp Paivika. We started our day with pancakes for breakfast. Then it was on to activities for the day. In nature, everyone watched as the turtles raced. Sports and rec had a nice game of baseball on the lawn. In arts and crafts they made rings of fire for the talent show, cleverly made of hula hoops and orange shredded paper. Performing arts was fun as they played games and dressed up while telling jokes. Then for lunch we enjoyed pizza. Later that day the daily all camp swim took place cooling off our Paivikians. Moving on to dinner, everyone enjoyed some delicious hamburgers and fries. The day ended with our talent show. By the end of the program, everyone was on their feet cheering on their fellow campers. As the sun set over the horizon, we celebrated another fun filled day here at camp.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Today we started the day with a yummy breakfast of English muffin sandwiches and juice. Afterward, regular activities began. Everyone had a blast down at the horse docks. We had two horses going, Muretta a long time horse of a few years and our brand new pony Bug a Boo or "Buggy". In the nature program we made gak. In sports and rec everyone had a great time shooting some hoops. Arts and crafts we made candles and performing arts was entertaining as usual. Later for third and fourth activities, we had our daily all camp swim. The pool was unbelievably amazing and as anyone can see from the pictures, everyone had a great time. That night for evening program, we had an energetic dance. At the end of the day, most everyone had no problems falling asleep at bedtime. Today was a great day at camp.  Now, on to tomorrow. Good night Camp Paivika

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Camp is back in full swing with session 2. This time around, it's kids session. We started the day with parachute games, bag decorating and then a lunch of grilled cheese and fruit salad. Afterward, everyone enjoyed an all camp swim and were all cheers and smiles for opening campfire. Tomorrow regular activities begin followed by another all camp swim and then the camp dance!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lake trip and dance

                                                                 Our day at Lake Gregory
                                                       Our day at Lake Gregory part 2
                                                               The Camp Paivika dance