Monday, January 17, 2011

Let The Chips Fall Where They May

Sunday I headed up to Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria ( with a friend to help with an ongoing project: decorating the sides and seats of a new amphitheatre.

Camp Ocean Pines is an amazing place, formerly (I think) a YMCA summer camp (you may know the sort of place from your childhood, if your childhood included church/scouting camps); wonderfully funky main hall/dining room, outlying cabins, all tucked into a huge stand of Cambria’s pines, all on a hill overlooking the ocean. The camp is open year round with troops of school kids arriving to learn all sorts of wonderful things, and the camp is also available to various organizations for retreats, gatherings & etc. One of which was a retreat for a great number of engineers who helped out putting the flagstones on the curved rows of seats in the new amphitheatre, which were now to be decorated with mosaics, marbles, broken pottery, tiles, ceramic knick-knacks.
Many of the volunteers had signed up for the three day (and night) event so by the time we got there on Sunday, most of the work had been done, but there was enough left to finish up. So it was grab the pastry bags of ThinSet and scrounge around in the trays of color-separated bits of bright tiles and broken ceramics, and enjoy the puzzle of trying to fit the shiny swag into the open spaces left between the flagstones. Which will be grouted and polished up to sparkle and shine with lovely, lovely results.

Camp Ocean Pines has ongoing projects of this sort and are always happy to get volunteers to help. (Years ago I had gone up with a friend to help build another amphitheatre near the main hall/dining room and was delighted to see it all finished and looking beautiful.) So, do yourself a favor and go to their website and sign up for their newsletter and keep a sharp eye open.

In addition to volunteer opportunities, the Camp is often hosting various kinds of classes and programs on a wide variety of subjects. (In this last newsletter, for example, a class in Chinese Brush Painting will be held there in Feb, & etc.) And, of course, if you have kids or know folks who do, you really need to get on their mailing lists to keep track of the wonderful programs and classes for kids (including one a few years ago on Native American bush-crafting, flint knapping, arrow-making, for example.)

In short, Camp Ocean Pines is another extraordinary Central Coast “family jewel.”


Sewertoons said...


My husband took a class on how to build a stack wall there and had a great time.

The Friends of the Elephant Seals had a thank you dinner there too, and the view was breathtaking.

A great place and yes, it does remind me of summer camp!

Pop Nature said...


Thanks for your nice comments! It was a wonderful weekend and we appreciate the donation of 2,000 volunteer hours that weekend! Still more to do, so grab some friends and come by and volunteer!