At this the beginning of 2019, would you like to feel hopeful about the future? If so, look into what’s going on at Camp Ocean Pines.
By design, Camp Ocean Pines does its part to facilitate connections, explorations and growth. Youthful campers are supported as they learn to connect with each other and their environment. Children are encouraged to have fun and be respectful while they explore nature and discover new interests and talents. Camp kids participate in confidence-building activities, which promotes growth. In addition to those ambitions, Camp Ocean Pines provides a venue where adults can connect, explore and evolve as well.
As if that wasn’t enough, Camp Ocean Pines’ board of directors appointed Andrew Boyd-Goodrich as their new executive director. Since August 2018, Boyd-Goodrich has continued to lead Camp Ocean Pines in a purposeful direction. He has both the experience and the enthusiasm needed to take the camp to the next level.
Well-suited for the position, Boyd-Goodrich has a comprehensive background when it comes to the domain of summer camps. Boyd-Goodrich’s father worked his entire career as a recreational professional. As camp director he managed Camp Sacramento, which introduced young Boyd-Goodrich to the wonders of Eldorado National Forest.
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“It was a family camp,” Boyd-Goodrich mentioned. “I was there all the time. It’s where the magic of camping and nature in general was instilled in me—although I didn’t know it at the time.”
Childhood gave Boyd-Goodrich a unique perspective from which he observed both the administrators’ and the campers’ sides of campouts. As a teenager, Boyd-Goodrich began to work in an official capacity as a camping and outdoor education counselor.
Later, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, while earning a college degree in theatre arts, Boyd-Goodrich also learned something about himself and what really mattered to him.
“I knew how much I enjoyed my summer job—being with kids in nature,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is fun.’ Then I realized, ‘Oh. This is meaningful!”
Boyd-Goodrich went on to work for YMCA of San Francisco. He is the former executive director at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch near La Honda in the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as the former associate executive director at Camp Point Bonita YMCA near the Point Bonita Lighthouse in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Although he was happy where he was, when a friend mentioned the position at Camp Ocean Pines, out of curiosity, Boyd-Goodrich researched the facility and their philosophy. In several ways Camp Ocean Pines seemed to be a good fit for Boyd-Goodrich and his family. In the plus column, they have relatives in Morro Bay and Orcutt.
Over the past several months the benefits of Boyd-Goodrich’s expertise are being revealed and reaped. With aspirations to serve an even greater number of youth through cooperative efforts with local school districts Boyd-Goodrich is cultivating prospective partnerships. He’s planting seeds that have the potential to sprout into fruitful career and technical education programs. One example: Culinary Arts using Camp Ocean Pine’s commercial kitchen.
Outreach programs, such as their live bird program, teach students about raptors and falconry. Camp Ocean Pines has an owl, a Peregrine falcon, and a Harris’s hawk.
Boyd-Goodrich mentioned a need for volunteers to care for the birds among other camp tasks. Of course, if you want to help, but you don’t have the time or inclination to clean up after the birds, file papers, or rake the forest, you can always contribute with a monetary donation.
“In the real sense, the board of directors are the owners of the camp,” Boyd-Goodrich explained. “I am the one person the board hires. I report directly to the board. I have the responsibility of running the camp.”
When it comes to hiring help, Boyd-Goodrich addressed his intentions: “When we hire young adults we want Camp Ocean Pines to be their best ‘first-job-experience’ possible. When they come to work here they get a job where there are high standards of business practices plus impactful programs.”
Quick to credit those who came before him, Boyd-Goodrich notes the strong foundation on which he is building. The main hall, dining room, several meeting rooms and 10 straw-bale cabins are noteworthy existing features at the compound. Also, there are plans to construct two more cabins, one of which will be the second that is ADA compliant. All cabins have a private toilet room and a private shower room.
Cabins boast names of scientists, naturalists, artists, etc. Each structure has its own mural that decorates interior walls. Each mural is in theme with the cabin’s name.
Ten bunk beds per cabin means Camp Ocean Pines can accommodate up to 100 occupants.
For a nature camp-type setting the cabins are blue ribbon. Still, when you check-in, you shouldn’t expect chocolate on your pillow, or even a pillow for that matter. Bring your own bedding—BYOB at COP.
Summer months are booked solid with young campers. Popular dates generally book 12 months in advance. The cabins are available for group rentals and adult workshops. Professional instructors and guides are available to help you with your event.
Camp Ocean Pines accommodates groups of 10 to 100. If you want the camp all to yourself, or all to your group, you either bring a minimum of 85 guests or you pay for the equivalent of 85 guests. Day use meeting rental fees are $5 per person per hour with a $300 minimum. Meals cost extra, but word is, they’re worth it! Camp Ocean Pines accommodates vegetarian and gluten-free dietary needs.
“An essential part of camping here is to have a meaningful experience in nature,” Boyd-Goodrich said. “We want to be sure that we are the best camp we can be for the people we are serving.”
Camp Ocean Pines is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit organization. For more information, visit CampOceanPines.org or call 805-927-0254.