I have been actively involved with Pyles Camp since 1987 when I was invited to visit the Camp. I hiked into the outback with two other Board members to spend time with the young campers. Once I experienced this “Miracle in the Sierras”, I was hooked for life. This has become the principle charity that I support, contributing both financially as well as committing time and resources. So what is so special about Pyles Boys Camp?
Pyles Camp focuses on a very special need: young teenage boys whose lives are at a cross roads and who can benefit from a hands-on program of individual counseling and group activities that helps them to realize there is a better way. It is so much more than just a summer camp; this camp has a purpose of helping boys by taking them out of their day-to-day home environment and exposing them to new possibilities; it helps boys to become men. This camp has a proven track record with the counselors and staff having been former campers; with boys who have gone on to graduate from high school and even college, thereby enabling them work in industries they would never have thought possible. They were given a vision, the belief that they can achieve anything, and the means to do it.
The camp is overseen by a very active Board of Directors who are engaged in the fundraising and oversight of the camp. Many have been involved for a very long time, thereby providing continuity and mature insight. While there are the usual quarterly Board meetings, many directors attend an annual hike into the wilderness to see the camp in action while ensuring that a safe program is carried out.
Especially amazing is the very large group of volunteer support structure throughout all aspects of the Camp. They are very active community and civil service volunteers who work with the school districts and police departments to select the boys who would best benefit from the Pyles Camp experience. Others help with the numerous fundraising activities without which none of this would be possible, including individual financial appeals, golf tournaments, BBQ’s and solicitation of grants from foundations. There are others who spend significant time and resources to help open, maintain, and close the camp.
Pyles Camp definitely changes the lives of boys who attend the Camp. In my day-to-day work I have come across former Campers who stress that they would not be where they are today were it not for the camp. It is truly a Miracle in the Sierras.
-Chris Hall, Board Member