Camp KEEP Amphitheater
Camp KEEP supporters can become a permanent part of KEEP for years by sponsoring campfire benches, stage pavers
Harry Clark, a sixth grader at Reagan Elementary School, just returned from a week’s stay at Camp KEEP. When asked what his favorite part of the experience was, Clark was quick to point out how good the food was, but conceded that evenings around the campfire were equally as memorable.
The campfire and its surrounding amphitheater have long been the centerpiece of KEEP Ocean. It’s where thousands of sixth graders like Clark have gathered week after week, year after year with schoolmates for songs, games and stories after a long day of educational hikes and hands-on science learning.
But the facility was in desperate need of a makeover. The ground had become uneven and old log benches were deteriorating, explained Elizabeth Roberts, KEEP Ocean’s supervisor.
The community has rallied around the cause to improve the facility.
Estero Bay Sustainable Solutions, located in Los Osos, donated the plans for the remodel. Griffith Company, a California-based construction company with offices in Bakersfield, provided hours of in-kind labor demolishing the old site, re-grading the project area and building necessary retaining walls. Electrical enhancements are being paid for in part by Bakersfield’s A-C Electric Company, while Morro Bay Eco-Rotary was instrumental in organizing a recent volunteer work day at the site.
“About 60 volunteers showed up for the work day including Eco-Rotary members, Kern County teachers, KEEP Foundation board members, Camp KEEP and KCSOS employees and Christine Frazier and members of her senior leadership team,” said Roberts.
She also noted that KEEP’s groundkeeper Rich Bohey has gone above and beyond for the project, getting things ready for volunteers and lending his expertise in building walls and benches and installing drains and landscaping, among other tasks.
With the majority of the new infrastructure now in place, the community has a unique opportunity to show its support for Camp KEEP by sponsoring a campfire bench or stage pavers.
Roberts said that modern wooden benches will replace the old log benches and are available to sponsor for $1000 per bench, or $500 for a half bench. Each bench will be adorned with a 12” x 4” laser-engraved gold plaque recognizing the donating person or organization. Two, highly visible front-row bench areas are also available to sponsor for $5000 each.
KEEP supporters may also sponsor 12” x 12” stone pavers that will beautify the amphitheater’s stage once it is completed. Pavers are available for $300 each and will be engraved to recognize the donor.
“It’s such a great way for supporters to become a permanent part of KEEP for years to come,” Roberts added.
Funds raised through bench and paver sponsorships will allow Camp KEEP to finish the functional and aesthetic touches that are still needed. This includes installing the remaining benches, constructing the stage, laying decomposed granite ground covering, and finishing the project area with large landscape rocks and eventually flagstone flooring.
For more information or to sponsor a Camp KEEP bench or paver, please call Lorri Kilby at 661-636-4629.
Click HERE to download the sponsorship form.