This summer, as we have done every summer for the last decade, Hathaway-Sycamores collaborated with R.M. Pyles Boys Camp to secure camperships for local Highland Park youth to attend summer camp. The boys spent thirteen days in the Sequoia National Forest enjoying both fun and challenging camp and wilderness experiences. Besides campfires, stargazing and the other traditional outdoor activities of camp, R.M. Pyles Boys Camp focuses on making a positive change in the lives of the 12 to 14 year old boys who attend the camp. The dedicated staff teach the importance of values and leadership.
Hathaway-Sycamores’ Mentoring Program Coordinator, Richard A. Ledesma Sr., has for the last ten years set up liaisons with local Middle Schools and Charter School Counselors for the selection process. The youth selected have demonstrated a potential for success, are deserving of the experience, and will benefit from the program. This year a total of 41 first year campers from Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, Norwalk, Pacoima, South Los Angeles and the City of Vernon attended the camp along with over a dozen additional second and third year campers and former campers who returned as workers.
For over 60 years R.M. Pyles Boys Camp has worked with youth to enhance character building and academic achievement with their Summer Camp program, reaching out to boys from six southern California Counties. The camp is based on teaching core values such as honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, initiative and dependability to the campers. Richard Ledesma attended the camp as a teen and knows firsthand the value of this camp experience. “Among our goals is to expose these boys to life-expanding and life-affirming experiences, and this camping trip certainly provides that and much more,” said Richard Ledesma. The full range of activities at this beautiful camp in the redwoods includes archery, horseback riding, crafts, ropes initiative course, fishing, hiking, sports and a backpack trip into the spectacular Golden Trout Wilderness area. It is a fast paced program developed with the interests of boys in mind and it is a lot of fun!
During his tenor as the President of the Highland Park Kiwanis Club, Ledesma set up the camperships for local youth. Mr. Ledesma is a retired LAPD Officer and the Chairman to the Commission on Children & Youth of the American Legion Department of California.