Weekly Updates and Information throughout the Summer

Solid Ground Week 7

Dear Solid Ground families,

We are just about done with summer (sad face emoji). I cannot believe how fast it’s gone by. I will miss seeing all the campers’ smiling faces, the leaders realizing their leadership potential, and the incredible relationships and bonds that have formed over the last seven weeks.

If you’ve been reading this newsletter and enjoying the weekly highlights, I encourage you all to attend our Solid Ground Family Night on Wednesday, July 26th from 6-8pm. We have dinner available for $2 per person (free for Solid Ground campers and leaders), which starts at 6pm. At 7pm, we’ll have presentations by each of the Solid Ground departments – videos, skits, or other performances – that highlight their summer experience and reflect on the amazing things they’ve learned. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP on our online Doodle.

Some highlights from week 6:

  • Our 6th graders learned about the Chinese Exclusion Act with a tour and workshop at the Chinese Historical Society of America. They further deepened their connection with culture by visiting the Asian Art Museum. To top it all off, SG6 went sailing in the bay with the Treasure Island Sailing Center. Thanks to TISC for collaborating with us this summer and giving so many of our youth the chance to be out on the open water!
  • The 7th grade department just returned to Cameron House after three days of camping at Anthony Chabot Regional Park! They had an awesome time hiking, cooking, stargazing, playing games, and singing songs around the campfire. I was also blessed with a wonderful birthday serenade in the morning!
  • Our 8th grade Youth-Powered department continued implementing their service projects centered around sheltered animals, houselessness, and low income immigrant families. They fundraised nearly $300 in one day (thanks to all who donated), researched and bought supplies for care packages, and compiled resource pamphlets specific to the affected groups, all the while documenting their process! Additionally, they volunteered at the food bank and Cameron House’s food pantry.

SG7 Camping 1

We have a lot to look forward to in our final week of camp. Of course, Family Night is on Wednesday evening! We also have our Summer Carnival on Thursday at Cameron House (which is like a mini-version of our famous Cameron Carnival). And on Friday, each department will have a potluck. Please have your youth bring a dish to share for 3-4 people!

It has been my honor and pleasure to work with your youth this summer. I’ve learned so much about them, myself, and the community, and I look forward to seeing you all again! And to our Youth-Powered 8th graders… we look forward to working with you all as leaders next summer!


Week 6 is SPIRIT WEEK!

This week is Spirit Week! We hope your youth will participate by following the daily dress themes:

Monday: Wacky Hair Day
Tuesday: Disney Day
Wednesday: Cameron House Day (wear your Cameron House apparel and gear!)
Thursday: Department Day (wear the same color as your department scarves!)
Friday: Pajama Day (make sure to wear close-toed shoes still!)

Solid Ground Week 6

Hello families!

Getting involved in the community through exploration and service has been a major component of the Solid Ground camp experience, and this past week was no different. Our 6th graders completed this summer’s food justice component this past week, with our 7th grade department exploring the issue during the week prior. And our 8th graders will take part in those same volunteer opportunities next week. As always, here are the highlights from week 5:

  • In addition to volunteering at the Food Bank and Cameron House’s Food Pantry, our 6th grade also volunteered with the Chinatown Community Development Center’s Adopt-An-Alleyway program to help beautify the historic alleys of Chinatown.
  • Along with our 6th grade department, our 7th graders explored the Mission District, learning about the culture, history, and politics of the neighborhood through its murals and a tour of a community organization.
  • Our 8th graders went on a tour of single room occupancies (SROs) led by a Cameron House alumnus. They also volunteered with Light the Night, an organization created by Cameron House alumni that helps people without homes. Additionally, they met with the former executive director of Cameron House who is putting together a documentary about Chinatown activism.

SG8 Sailing 3

This coming week, our 6th grade will be going sailing and visiting not one, not two, but THREE museums! Our 7th grade will be going camping at Anthony Chabot Regional Park from Wednesday to Friday. Please check out the camping letter and packing list, and turn in the permission form by Tuesday, July 18th. Our 8th grade Youth-Powered department will begin implementing the service projects they designed this past week. They’ve designed three separate direct action projects that will serve people without homes, sheltered animals, and new immigrant students.

Lastly, I would like to invite you all to our Solid Ground Family Night on Wednesday, July 26th from 6pm to 8pm. Dinner will be provided for $2. If you can make it, please RSVP on this Doodle! Also, be on the lookout for a reminder email with more information in the coming week.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at rene@cameronhouse.org or (415) 781-0401 x227.

Solid Ground Week 5

Hi Solid Ground families!

I can’t believe we’re more than halfway through the summer! Summer is a wonderful opportunity for youth to try new things and Cameron House works hard to ensure that our campers and leaders have fun and learn new things about themselves and the world around them! Even though the past week was shorter than usual with the holiday weekend, it was an incredible three days of deep and experiential learning. Please have a conversation with your youth about what they did this past week, and if you need some talking points, you can ask them about the following!

  • Our 6th grade department visited the Exploratorium and took part in a workshop at the Apple Store in Union Square.
  • Our 7th grade department helped to package food at the Food Bank and then handed out those items at Cameron House’s Food Pantry the following day.
  • And our 8th graders just returned from a camping trip in Huddart Park down in San Mateo County, where they stargazed, hiked, and cooked and slept in the great outdoors!

SG6 Exploratorium 2

This coming week, our 6th graders will volunteer in not one, not two, but THREE service opportunities. Our 7th grade department will visit the Exploratorium and SFMOMA (I’m hoping to go as well as Edvard Munch is one of my favorite artists!). And our 8th graders will have the opportunity to meet with three separate Cameron House alumni who are doing and have done inspirational work in the Chinatown community. They’ll also be sailing in the Bay with the Treasure Island Sailing Center. Please make sure your youth turns in the permission form if they would like to participate!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and please reach out to me at rene@cameronhouse.org or (415) 781-0401 x227 if you have any questions at all!

Solid Ground Week 4

Dear Solid Ground families,

We are coming up to the midway point of summer and I can’t believe how fast this summer is flying by! Don’t blink; you might miss an incredible moment! Please ask your campers and leaders how their summers have been. They may not realize it yet, but they are in the midst of creating something beautiful and meaningful, and it’s always good to sit back and reflect on all they’ve accomplished and all they hope to still accomplish!

This coming week, we will be observing Independence Day and will NOT have camp on Monday, July 3rd and Tuesday, July 4th. Staff and volunteer leaders will be coming in on Monday for a day of professional development and departmental bonding in order to continue providing the quality summer camp experience that Cameron House is known for!

SG6 Camping 5

Some highlights from this past week:

  • Our 6th graders just returned from their camping trip at the Presidio’s Rob Hill campground. They went on a night hike (it wasn’t too scary, they said), made smores, played games, and learned valuable skills like cooking in the outdoors and pitching a tent.
  • Our 7th grade department went sailing in the bay with the Treasure Island Sailing Center! TISC is a wonderful organization, and we’re happy to be partnering with them again this summer to provide all our Solid Ground campers with the chance to sail and take in the views of our beautiful city!
  • And our 8th grade Youth-Powered program focused on the theme of civic engagement this past week. A legislative aide gave them an in-depth tour of City Hall. Students learned about what it means to be an active and engaged citizen. And they spent time hiking at Lands End and its Eagle Point Labyrinth before working together and challenging themselves in the Fort Miley Ropes Course!

Although this coming week is shortened, it’s jam-packed with exciting activities and field trips. Our 6th graders will be going to the Exploratorium and the Apple Store for an interactive workshop. Our 7th graders will be learning about food justice through volunteer opportunities at the SF-Marin Food Bank and Cameron House’s food pantry, which serves over 200 families in the community. And our 8th graders will be going camping at Huddart Park! Please visit the Calendar page and scroll down to the section on permission forms to download any forms necessary to participate!

Looking forward to a great second half of the summer! Let me know if you have any questions at all by contacting me at rene@cameronhouse.org or (415) 781-0401 x227. Hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend with family and friends!

Solid Ground Week 3

Hello Solid Ground Families!!

Another week is in the books! As the summer continues to move ahead smoothly, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to spend a bit more time with each department—at Cameron House, at the parks, and at the Academy of Sciences. And I must say… being a camper and leader is EXHAUSTING (and rewarding). I hope your youth have been coming home with fun stories, new learnings, and a desire to hit the hay!

We’ve created a new Calendar page, where you can see all the field trips your youth have been and will be participating in, as well as download any permission forms that they may need in order to participate. Please check it out!

SG Cover Photo

Some highlights from week 2:

  • Our 6th grade department explored so much of our beautiful city. This week, they hiked in the Presidio, walked around Japantown, and played games and cooked out at Golden Gate Park. They’re excited for all the exploration still in store for them this summer!
  • Our 7th graders had an aquatic-themed week, with a beach day on Tuesday and swimming at Sava Pool on Wednesday, before checking out the aquariums (and more!) at the Academy of Sciences on Thursday.
  • Our 8th grade Youth-Powered department explored the theme of environmental justice. On Tuesday, they did a cooking challenge where they were given $3 to buy ingredients in Chinatown before cooking in a *heated* team challenge. (I was fortunate to be a judge of the delicious meals they created!) They also completed a scavenger hunt of Chinatown where they learned historical facts, examined environmental resources, and smelled durian! On Wednesday, they volunteered with Urban Sprouts at their June Jordan garden—watering, weeding, and trimming plants; painting benches; and exploring the grounds, which included a chicken coop!

This week, our 6th graders will be camping at the Presidio! Please take a look at the camping letter and packing list and make sure you sign the camping permission form. Our 7th grade department will be going sailing at Treasure Island (please complete the Treasure Island Sailing Center permission form). And our 8th graders will be visiting City Hall and completing the ropes course at Fort Miley. They will also need to complete the Pacific Leadership Institute permission form in order to participate.

We look forward to another great week of camp! Please check out your youth’s department page for updates and photos! And if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at rene@cameronhouse.org or (415) 781-0401 x227.

Solid Ground Week 2

Hello families!

On the first day of camp, I was blessed to witness such positivity and open-mindedness from campers and leaders, new and old. Their welcoming and fun-loving spirit set the tone for what is shaping up to be an incredible summer of fun and learning! That energy carried forward throughout the whole week and I’m excited to see what we’ll accomplish and experience this summer.

SG Day 1

Some highlights from week 1:

  • Our 6th grade department discovered their inner aquatic spirit animals, swimming at Sava Pool and enjoying a beach day at China Beach and Lands End!
  • The 7th grade department hosted the Seven Tepees Youth Program, guiding our guests from the Mission District in a scavenger hunt of Chinatown.
  • Youth-Powered, our 8th grade department, learned about their ancestry and the history of Chinese immigration through activities and visits to the Chinese Historical Society Museum and the Angel Island Immigration Station Museum. In doing so, they explored the historical ramifications of the Chinese Exclusion Act and related it to the present-day Muslim Ban.

SG Looking Ahead

Looking forward to week 2, the entire Solid Ground program will have the opportunity to visit the California Academy of Sciences on Thursday. Our 6th graders will go hiking in the Presidio on Tuesday. Our 7th grade department will go swimming at Sava Pool on Wednesday (don’t forget your swimsuits!). And our 8th graders will visit the June Jordan School for Equity Farm to volunteer with Urban Sprouts as they explore a unit on environmental justice.

Friday Night Club

All Solid Ground participants (and their friends!) are invited to join the Friday Night Club program. Friday Night Club is a youth program, open to middle school and high school youth. During the school year, we meet Friday evenings, 7-10pm, at Cameron House. During the summer, we will be holding Friday Night Club from 7-9:30pm with dinner at 6pm for Solid Ground participants and volunteer leaders staying for Club (we suggest a $1-$2 donation per person per meal).

If you’d like to have your middle schooler attend Friday Night Club, please complete the release form, and give it to your child(ren) to return to their coordinator. They must do this before the first time they plan on attending club. If you have any questions about Friday Night Club, contact Laurene Chan, Youth Ministries Director, at laurene@cameronhouse.org.

And if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me at rene@cameronhouse.org or (415) 781-0401 x227.

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Solid Ground Weekly Newsletter

Weekly Updates and Information throughout the Summer