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.  

1 comment:

  1. This is an outstanding venue, with great and thoughtful staff, and a fantastic chef. The location is well situated. We has been delighted to host our annual event at this location for the past few years, and the space for NY events has been perfect for our group of roughly 300.