Camp Helping Hands (Northridge)
Location: Highland Hall Waldorf School
17100 Superior Street, Northridge, CA 91325
Highland Hall boasts 11-acres of green space, wooded areas and a small working farm. A true valley oasis!
-Animal Presentations Now Offered Weekly-
Commuter bus available with stops in Woodland Hills and Van Nuys (additional fee applies).
Camp Helping Hands is a four-week program that provides fun and educational service-learning opportunities within several different segments of our community. Each summer program has an overarching theme, and each week of programming supports that theme. Our 2018 program, Serving What Serves Us, will run from July 9 through August 3. For CHH campers to receive the full benefits of service-learning we encourage parents to embrace this four-week approach. In addition to each week’s service projects* and field trips, CHH campers also swim, play sports activities and games, sing songs, do arts and craft projects, and much more.
CHH places campers according to age into four age groups: Junior Helpers (6 and 7), Young Advocates (8 and 9), Super Agents (10 and 11), and Chief Aides (12, 13, and 14 year-old’s who have not yet completed 9th grade). Each group contains 15 to 20 campers and is led by three to four counselors who guide them through age appropriate activities. Chief Aides, our oldest age group, are Jr. Counselors-in-Training (Jr. CIT’s). In addition to participating in camp activities like our younger campers, they assist by helping our younger campers when needed.
*Activities, field trip destinations, and service partners are subject to change.
Meet the Northridge Camp Director
Christopher Regalo has extensive experience teaching elementary-aged children. Living and working abroad in Japan and South Korea for over 10 years, Christopher taught English as a Foreign Language to grades K and up. During that time, he also helped train and recruit other native English speakers for resident foreign language programs such as the JET program. Most recently, Christopher worked as an Account Executive for True World Foods, which allowed him to continue using his Japanese language skills as well as build relationships with international restaurant owners from around the globe. Though he enjoyed developing international relationships while working for True World Foods, he missed doing meaningful work with children in an educational and fun setting. Christopher began working for Camp Helping Hands in 2017 helping out behind-the-scenes and offering support to all our summer staff as needed. Christopher is looking forward to being Camp Director at the Northridge location in 2018.
Summer 2018 Theme: Serving What Serves Us
This summer campers will work to support those who protect and serve our community so that our lives can be lived freely, prosperously, and to the best of our abilities. (View a Sample Schedule)
Week One: Serving the Land - EARTH WEEK (July 9 - 13, 2018)
During EARTH week, campers will learn all about land conservation and how we can help others in a variety of ways with what the land has to offer. CHH is teaming up with community organizers, naturalists, and environmentalists so our campers can go behind-the-scenes to catch a glimpse of how their work helps protect one of our most valuable natural resources – land. Partners this week will include the L.A. Kitchen, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. During our service field trips, campers will sharpen their cooking skills as they learn how locally grown food that would normally go to waste is used to help the community in a variety of ways beyond meal prep. Campers will also help restore neighborhood vacant space into green space and assist environmentalists working to maintain our open space and natural habitats so our community and its wildlife can thrive. Onsite presentations will feature land conservationists from our partner orgs, plus a special Nature of Wildworks animal presentation on Friday. Other activities this week include sports and games, swimming, singing camp songs, making crafts, and more.
Week Two: People Who Serve - PEOPLE WEEK (July 16 - 20, 2018)
This summer, PEOPLE week’s focus is on those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting others locally, nationally, and internationally. For this week’s program, CHH has partnered with organizations that support the needs of veterans, deployed military personnel, and their families. We will also meet our local first-responders to learn more about how these local heroes protect and serve. Field trips this week will be to For the Troops in Simi Valley where campers will sort and package donations for deployed soldiers, a local Senior Center where campers will make treats and cards for our firefighters, and to the nearby Fire Station 87 where campers will receive a behind-the-scenes tour. Presenters at camp will include law enforcement officers, personnel from the American Red Cross, a retired veteran, and Deaf Dog Rescue who will demonstrate how to properly interact with a deaf dog so campers can enjoy some petting time with these very special dog guests. In addition to our service trips and presenters, campers will also play sports and games, swim, sing camp songs, make crafts, and more.
Week Three: Animals that Serve - ANIMAL WEEK (July 23 - July 27, 2018)
ANIMAL week is all about animals that have been raised and trained to help serve humans in need. Guide Dogs of America will bring puppies in training to camp, providing an opportunity for campers to learn all about raising a guide dog, what characteristics and breeds make good guide dogs, and what it’s like to be led by a guide dog. There will also be time for snuggling and petting. Other service animals visiting camp on Monday and Friday include K9 dogs and therapy dogs from Paws4Healing. Field trips this week will include a day of service and animal interaction at Mini Therapy Horses in Malibu, and a visit to the Guide Dogs of America facility in Sylmar where campers will receive an exclusive tour. At Mini Therapy Horses, campers will groom and bath the horses, clean their stalls, receive a training demonstration, and make a beautiful, hand-crafted mural for donation to the Ronald MacDonald House where these miniature beauties visit weekly. Activities at camp will include making needed items for donation to our service partners, playing sports and games, swimming, singing camp songs, making crafts, and more.
Week Four: Serving Ourselves to Serve Others - COMMUNITY WEEK (July 30 - August 3, 2018)
For COMMUNITY week this summer, we are going to explore the self. Mahatma Ghandi once said, “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” As we learn about helping others, animals and the Earth, we must also take time to explore ourselves and our own needs, especially as we expand our sense of self through service. We must not think of self care as selfish, but rather a way to help us build and maintain strength so we can continue to serve others and our community. This week, campers will explore the mind and the body and will experience movement, meditation, and ways to nourish a healthy self through examining what we eat to how we think and to what we do. Service trips and partners will include Great Spirits Ranch in Malibu, CET Athletics, Therapy Dogs, Inc., and a variety of onsite presenters who will lead movement, yoga, sound therapy sessions, art therapy, healthy cooking, and more. In connection with CET Athletics, campers will learn about the need for exercise as they learn some tumbling basics. Additionally, they will meet CET Athletics founder and director John Cronin and hear his personal story and how tumbling helped him overcome childhood leukemia. While at CET, campers will also participate in a service project for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children who are terminally ill. For our closing field trip, campers will experience being ranch hands for a day and catch a glimpse of the hard, yet very rewarding, work running a ranch requires. Before departing the ranch, campers will be led through an interactive animal meditation, which will include animal yoga poses and a healing sound bath led by Pamela Robbins, author of Meditating with Animals, beside the animal corals. Other activities happening at camp will include sports and games, making crafts, swimming, singing camp songs, and more.
*Partners and field trip destinations are subject to change.
Rates and Packages
Camp Helping Hands runs from 9:00AM to 3:00PM, Monday through Friday, for a total of four weeks. The four-week program* is offered at a bulk package rate of $1650. Fees include:
- fees for all service field trips (two per week);
- fees for onsite presentations (two to three per week);
- fees for animal presenters (minimum one animal presentation per week);
- snack** served twice daily and includes fresh, organic produce from Good Life Organics;
- fees for recreational swim (campers swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays);
- a camp t-shirt;
- transportation for all field trips and swim excursions. Transportation provided by Durham School Services
*One-week sessions are very limited. Cost per one-week session is $450.
**Parents must provide lunch daily.
For parents who need early drop-off and late pick-up options, we offer an extended care package. Campers enjoy games, arts and crafts, and outdoor activities during morning care and aftercare.
Extended Care Rates:
Early Drop-off (7:30 to 9:00AM) = $10 per child per day
Late Pick-up (3:00 to 6:00PM) = $20 per child per day
For parents who need transportation to and from camp, a commuter bus is available. It stops in Woodland Hills at the MacDonald’s on 23340 San Luis, and at the Millie’s in Van Nuys on 16840 Vanowen Street. The commuter bus costs $125 per week per camper.