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Posted by: Lea_Marie_C_Paar on 05/29/2014 01:51 PM Updated by: Lea_Marie_C_Paar on 05/29/2014 01:51 PM
Expires: 01/01/2019 12:00 AM

Camp Jack Hazard Executive Director with 10 Camp Alumni to Hike 90 Miles of the Pacific Crest Trail as Commemoration

Modesto, CA – In April, the Executive Director of The Jack and Buena Foundation, Jason Poisson, announced that he wanted to hike 90 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail to commemorate the 90th year anniversary of local summer camp, Camp Jack Hazard. Word of the hike spread among camp alumni, and Poisson was contacted by a number of alumni interested in hiking with him. Poisson now has company for his 90 mile hike from Lake Tahoe to Camp Jack Hazard, near the Sonora Pass, and has decided to hike another 90 miles from the camp to Tuolumne Meadows. Camp alumni will accompany Poisson on both legs of the trip. His hiking buddies include a recent graduate of Valley Charter High School heading to UC Berkeley in the fall, a local high school teacher, an elementary school teacher from Colorado, a college photography teacher from Oregon, and several current UC Santa Cruz students. Most are alumni of Camp Jack Hazard.

The Jack and Buena Foundation operates the historic summer camp near the Sonora Pass. In addition to serving as Executive Director of the Foundation, Poisson is a former camper, counselor, and director of Camp Jack Hazard, and a former area high school teacher. Poisson co-founded the Jack and Buena Foundation in 2009 to provide scholarships for Modesto-area youth to attend the camp. In 2011, the Jack and Buena Foundation took over operations of Camp Jack Hazard following the closure of the Stanislaus County YMCA.

2014 is Camp Jack Hazard’s 90th year anniversary in operation. Poisson said he wanted to undertake this long backpacking trip to commemorate the camp’s anniversary and to help raise awareness of the camp’s continuing operation. “Some people still assume Camp Jack Hazard closed when the YMCA closed, but we are open and still providing local kids with fantastic outdoor experiences. We still take kids backpacking and rock-climbing, sing at camp fires, and teach them to be stewards of the Sierra Nevadas.” Camp Jack Hazard has taken countless area youth backpacking in the wilderness surrounding the camp near the Sonora Pass, providing many children their first wilderness experience.

Poisson said he wasn’t surprised that so many camp alumni want to join with him on the hike: “Camp Jack Hazard is all about the beauty of the Sierra Nevadas and the joy of hiking in these mountains. And this camp breeds real loyalty. Camp alumni are always eager to return, and I think they want to see as many kids as possible have the experiences in the Sierras they had as campers.” Christina Fitts, an elementary school music teacher in Longmont, Colorado agrees.
Fitts, who attended Camp Jack Hazard as a child and later worked at the camp, said, “We all want to see Camp Jack Hazard continue. I work with kids and know how much they need this kind of experience. I hope my time on the [Pacific Crest] Trail will inspire people to think about Camp Jack Hazard, take their kids to the mountains, maybe send them to camp.”

About The Jack and Buena Foundation:
The primary goal of The Jack and Buena Foundation is to ensure that Camp Jack Hazard continues providing life-changing experiences to Central Valley youths for years to come. In the last three years, the foundation has helped 75 kids attend camp. In May 2011, the foundation began to rent and run the camp and is now focused on creating a sustainable summer camp.

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