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The mission of Camp Oliver is to provide a safe, caring environment for all children, youth, and, adults, so they can appreciate and value themselves, others, and the natural world around them. In 1949, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Oliver made a generous gift of 22 acres of land in Descanso, California, to the Sisters of Social Service. The Sisters of Social Service dedicated and opened Camp Oliver in 1954 for weekend retreats and as a campsite in the summer months for children to experience and appreciate nature. In 1990, Camp Oliver was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Since its foundation, Camp Oliver has been a non-denominational and all-inclusive camp serving more than 10,000 children. For over 60 years, Camp Oliver has remained true to its original mission and is honored to provide an overnight, summer camp experience to vulnerable children throughout San Diego County. The population includes under-served children from challenging backgrounds including: single parent households, children in foster care, children with developmental disabilities, and homeless children. In fact, over 82% of campers this year were from disadvantaged, underserved communities living in poverty. Many of these youth receive camperships (aid scholarships in the amount of $385) to attend one full week of overnight camp at no cost and for the majority of the children who attend this is their very first time away from home and overnight camping experience. As you can imagine the experience for many of the children that attend is life changing and provides an intimate experience with nature and the environment around them. Below are just some of the comments we received from previous campers regarding their Camp Oliver experience: "The morning hike up Stonewall was great. Although we had to wake up at 3am, the view, nature, and time spent with my cabin was unbeatable...Camp Oliver was extremely fun and I am looking forward to going back!" - Makenna, Age 11 "What I liked about Camp Oliver was archery, the overnight under the stars, and climbing Mt. Oliver...Camp was extremely fun I look forward to coming back." - Dougie, Age 6 "My favorite activity was swimming and the low ropes course. I also liked archery...Camp Oliver taught me about good sportsmanship and I was exposed to more nature...I hope I come here again." - Micaela, Age 10 These are just some of the many positive testimonies we received from children who attended camp this past summer. Camp Oliver is a magical place where children can be themselves, develop new friendships, and experience new life changing outdoor adventures.