Frequently Asked Questions


How much does this cost?

There is no cost to attend R.M. Pyles Boys Camp

Seriously, How much will this cost?


If this program is free, how do you get your funding?

Pyles Camp is funded through annual solicitations and fundraising events sponsored by generous individuals, foundations and companies actively involved in the betterment of their community. Truly we are a grassroots organization built on the concept of people helping people. It costs approximately $2,500 to send a boy through our program.  All expenses are defrayed from contributions by the sponsors. More than 300 volunteers annually contribute time, services and materials to make Pyles Camp a success.  There is no cost to the boy or your family to attend our program. Learn more about our funding here.

IS this a camp for DELINQUENTS or a Boot Camp? 

We are a prevention-based program for disadvantaged boys.  We are not a rehabilitation or corrections program for hardened or institutionalized boys nor do we run a "boot-camp" type program. 

MY Child isn't at-risk or DISADVANTAGEd? why was he selected?

Your boy was selected because someone saw something special in him.  Someone felt that your son had untapped potential to be a great leader in his neighborhood. R.M. Pyles Boys Camp is a prevention-based leadership program. 

WHere are you located?

The R.M. Pyles Boys Camp operates in partnership with Sequoia National Forest on a non-discriminatory basis. Pyles Boys Camp is located at 5,500’ elevation near Giant Sequoia National Monument approximately 60 miles from Porterville and 100 miles northeast of Bakersfield. 

Wow, that is far my city? how will they get to camp?

A bus is chartered to transport the boys to and from designated pickup points within their community and the trailhead to camp.  The camp is situated three miles from the departure point of the bus and must be entered by foot over this distance. A transportation schedule will be provided to parents of enrolled campers.

Where are your designated pickups points?

Transportation Schedule

Who are your Counselors?

The Pyles Camp staff is our greatest source of pride, and is a major factor in our continued success. Our staff is made up of mature, responsible, fun-loving adults who truly care about the campers they work and play with.

The vast majority of our bunk counselors started with us as campers and grew up in the Pyles Camp family. We helped raise them, and they know the Pyles Camp’s traditions and philosophy inside and out. It also means that they are easily able to transfer the Camp's core values to our campers. Our counselors are college-aged or older.  Even though we have watched these young adults grown up with us, we perform yearly background checks and cross-check them on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender registry.

Each counselor undergoes a yearly 6 days thorough training prior to the start of camp, covering topics such as: First Aid/CPR Training, safety and risk management issues, team building, counseling skills and communication and teaching skills. 


Please do not bring the following:

  • Weapons (Knives, Guns, Mace)

  • Narcotic Drugs

  • Over-the-counter Medications (we will provide, as needed)

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Tobacco Products (Cigarettes, Chew, E-cigarettes)

  • Pornographic materials

  • Sharpies or other permanent markers



What does my son need to bring?

The following is a packing list to assist you in preparing your son for his trip:

  • 3 Pairs of long pants (jeans are great)

  • 2 Pairs of shorts

  • 5 shirts, at least 2 of them should be long sleeved

  • 4 sets of underclothes

  • 2 pairs of shoes (It is unadvisable to bring new boots as they cause blisters.)

  • 4-6 pairs of heavy socks

  • 1 bathing suit

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb,

  • 2 towels

  • Chapstick and sunblock

  • Wear tennis shoes and bring another pair

  • A warm jacket (it can get very cold at night!)

  • Please, no baggy pants, other gang style attire, and/or

  • No clothes that limit physical activity.

This seems light on clothes.  will you wasH my son's clothes?

We will wash all of the boys clothes once a session after their 5 day backpacking trip. 

How does Pyles Camp handle prescription medications?

At the pick up points, all medications are turned in and kept at the infirmary.  Our Nurse/Health Care Provider will dispense the prescription medications as directed.

Is it okay to send letters to my camper? Are there topics I should avoid?

Everybody loves to get mail. We welcome cards and letters. Packages are always welcome. Please limit the number of cards and letters to one per session and pack enough for the group of prepackage food. (No homemade food)  Avoid writing about how much fun the child is missing while away from home; you might stir up an unnecessary case of homesickness. Encourage your child to have fun and to make the most of his camp experience. A simple note to stay in touch is all that's necessary. 

Where can i send your mail?

R.M. Pyles Boys Camp
c/o (Your Son's Name)
HCR 1 Box 108
Kernville, CA 93238

What if my child gets homesick?

It's not unusual for children, especially for the first time, to feel homesick the first few days. Most get over it quickly and go on to have a wonderful time. We provide structure and keep campers busy from the moment they arrive, which helps to shift their focus away from home to new friends and having fun. By the end of the session, the routine is familiar and the homesickness has passed for the majority of campers. If the first letter from your child is about feeling homesick, don't be alarmed. Letters are usually written during quiet time or in the evening when those feelings are most common.

Read more information on Homesickness from the American Camp Association 

In general, we do not allow campers to call home as speaking to parents can sometimes make homesickness worse. For the same reason, we do not allow parents to visit campers during sessions. If you think your camper may experience homesickness, we find that it often helps if you give them a letter or memento that they can bring to camp that reminds them of you.  Learning to cope with this temporary feeling will help your camper gain confidence, independence, and grit. In the rare instance that a child is truly struggling, we will contact you. 

What are your ACTIVITIEs?

Typical Daily in Camp Schedule

6:30 a.m.                           Counselors wake up
7:00 a.m.                           Campers wake-up
7:30 a.m.                           Flag Ceremony/Breakfast, Thought for the Day, Announcements
8:30 a.m.                           Work detail and cabin clean-up
9:15 a.m.                           Cabin Inspection
9:15 a.m.                           Morning group Activity
12:30 p.m.                         Lunch/Activity reports
1:30 p.m.                           Rest period, letters to home. 
2:45 p.m.                           Afternoon Activity
5:30 p.m.                           Dinner/Activity reports
6:30 p.m.                           After dinner activity or group challenges
8:30 p.m.                           Campfire program - songs, skits, stories, recap "Thought for the Day" 
9:45 p.m.                           Cabin Curfew
10:00 p.m.                         Lights out

Group Activities Include:

Horseback, Archery, Ropes/Challenge Course, Nature, Fitness, Arts & Crafts, 1/2 day Hike and 5 day Outcamp.

Overall Session Schedule: 

Day 1:        Pick-up, drive to mountains, selection to group, 3 mile hike to camp, orientation, dinner, camp activity
Day 2-4:     Daily in-camp schedule
Day 3-8:     Outcamp experience (groups leave for outcamp three groups per day starting from day 3 to day 8)
Day 9-10:   Daily in-camp schedule with earning awards
Day 11:      All Camp Olympics, Last Campfire awards and Pine Cone Ceremony
Day 12:      Camp clean-up,  Leave by 9:00 a.m. for home

IS there a Girls Program or Camp?

Unfortunately,  at this time, we do not have a girls program.  To find an all-girls program, we recommend that you use the American Camp Association's Find A Camp Resource.

CAn I Call My son? 

The parents cannot call their boy at camp or the boy call home. We will contact you in the event of an emergency.
If there is an emergency at home, you should call the camp office (661) 294-1394.

Does My son need money?

There is no need for money; there is nowhere to spend it.  Also, please don't let them bring expensive cameras, watches, cell phone or any other electronic device.  R.M. Pyles Boys Camp will not be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged property.

Does My son need Camping supplies?

Camp supplies all the equipment so there is no need for packs or sleeping bags.

Does My son need a warm jacket?

Yes, they do need a very warm jacket

Does My son need a pillow?

Yes, they may bring a pillow.