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Tulare County Probation Summer Program

The Tulare County Probation Department, in cooperation with a local youth organization, C-SET (Community Services and Employment Training, Inc.), provided a four-week summer camping adventure for children who completed the G.R.E.A.T. Program curriculum over the last school semester. Approximately 30 children per week attended the G.R.E.A.T. summer program at the beautiful Quail Flats campsite located near Hume Lake in California’s famous Sequoia National Forest.

G.R.E.A.T.-certified probation officers Lupe Gomez and Gene Fernandez worked in concert with the staff at C-SET to provide a meaningful and fun-filled experience for the children in attendance.

Camp Directors Angel Avita and Veronica Zaragosa of C-SET provided exceptional leadership in offering this opportunity to the children as a reward for their participation in the school-based G.R.E.A.T. Programs active in seven schools in Tulare County, California. The G.R.E.A.T. camp program included lessons in cultural awareness, conflict resolution, team building, goal setting, leadership, conservation, and recycling.

The children were involved in various daily activities designed to demonstrate and reinforce these lessons. Activities included a very challenging ropes course and daily educational nature hikes, plus a trip to the renowned Crystal Caves. The children were encouraged to pick up trash found on their hikes, reinforcing the message of conservation and recycling. During the first week of camp, the children and camp counselors collected over 60 pounds of trash!

The nightly campfire rounded out the day with lesson review and daily journals. At the end of the week, each child wrote a letter to his or her parents as a way of sharing the camping experience. Of course, there was plenty of recreation, including softball and bocce ball, which surprisingly was a big hit with the kids.

Hume Lake and G.R.E.A.T. Children Nature Hike
Hume Lake and G.R.E.A.T. Children Nature Hike.
G.R.E.A.T. Staff Left to Right: Norm Marin, Angel Avita, Lupe Gomez, Gene Fernandez, Andrew Franco, Art Alvarez, Emily Scott, Veronica Zaragosa.
G.R.E.A.T. Staff Left to Right: Norm Marin, Angel Avita, Lupe Gomez, Gene Fernandez, Andrew Franco, Art Alvarez, Emily Scott, Veronica Zaragosa.
G.R.E.A.T. Campers on the Ropes Course.
G.R.E.A.T. Campers on the Ropes Course.
Nature hike
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