Huntington Lake Overnight Camp
Huntington Lake FAQs
Here you will find lots of useful resources and links designed to answer some of your most common questions about camp.
Choosing the right summer camp is a major decision, and we honor the trust you place in us. We are eager to assist in any way we can, so please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can to do to help.
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Does my child need a friend to come with him/her to Kennolyn?
No. The majority of Kennolyn campers do not come to camp with a particular friend. We think of camp as one of the best and easiest places to make new friends. Our counselors are trained to include all campers in activities and create cohesive cabin groups regardless of whether campers know each other outside of Kennolyn or not.
What makes this program unique?
Kennolyn Camps has been in operation since 1946. We know how to run summer camps and we have done it extremely well for a long time. The structure, facilities, and program of Kennolyn Camps Huntington Lake have been designed to capitalize on that experience. This camp is unique in that the small camp size coupled with experienced leadership, allows us to fully support and encourage each child. Your child will walk through camp and be known and know everyone else. Not just their cabin group. But the cook, the head lifeguard, and the director. And that person will have the TIME and the BANDWIDTH to engage with your child. We’re not pumping kids through the program. This is a strong, relational experience that your child will co-design.
In the education world, study after study have shown that as class sizes are reduced, student performance improves. And those gains are stronger the longer the child participates. It’s the same in the camping world. All the typical benefits of a summer camp cabin group are here – acceptance, connection, and excitement. Our small camp size supercharges that feeling of belonging and empowerment as other counselors and camp leadership focus on the child as an individual. Like small classes, a small camp gets down to the needs of each child and improves their emotional and interpersonal intelligence. And the small size allows the child to have the confidence to speak up without the competition of a larger group knowing they’ll get instant feedback. Along the way, campers discover they have the TIME and BANDWIDTH to express (and sometimes form) their own unique individual identity.
Our program has been designed to reinforce the value of a small camp size with opportunities for your child to just be themselves such as:
- Open Mic Night – on their own (or maybe with a buddy) do their thing on stage – sing, dance, play, tell jokes, perform some magic, read a poem – all to a resounding applause and call for an encore performance.
- Open Lunch – our counselors spread out and campers sit where they want to allow for relationships outside the cabin group.
- Flexible scheduling – campers create their own schedule each day to allow them to pursue their interests on their own or with new friends.
- Long activity periods – remember the days of having the time to create or let the sun dry your skin after a dip in the lake? Weaving a friendship bracelet from start to finish in one sitting? That’s how we want a week at Kennolyn Camps, Huntington Lake to be. Be active all day every day or find a shady spot by the lake and relax.
Where is camp located?
Huntington Lake is 45 miles south of Yosemite Valley as the crow flies. We are in the heart of the Sierra National Forest 60 miles north east from Fresno. Our location is truly one of the best kept secrets in California. The road past the lake literally ends 24 miles later over a high boulder strewn pass. Our location is an ideal jumping off point as the wilderness playground is our back yard!
Huntington Lake is at 7000 feet and covered in snow in the winter. It was constructed in 1912 as a part of the enormous Big Creek Hydroelectric Project and is 7 miles long and one-half mile wide with four dams. This clear alpine lake is known for the High Sierra Regatta – an annual sailing race – which takes advantage of the consistent light afternoon breeze. The town of Lakeshore is charming and tiny. It is comprised of a post office, general store, and restaurant all within a few hundred feet. Other than a small gas station and volunteer fire department station the rest of the area is privately owned cabins and public camp grounds with a couple places to rent boats. Think Lake Tahoe in the 40s and 50 – this amazing place is a relatively unknown gem – and ours for exploring
Is there a fee for the bus or airport shuttle?
No. The obvious central point for transportation is Fresno. We will meet near Fresno airport at Noon on arrival day. All camper check-in will take place at the bus stop and then it’s on to camp. There are also many direct flights to Fresno Airport that will work with our bus pick-up.
What are the bus stops and times?
Our bus stop in Fresno will be announced soon. Meet at the bus at Noon on drop- off day and pick-up day.
If I want to drive to camp, what are the pick-up and drop-off times?
Opening Day is 2:30pm and Closing Day is 9:30am. Let us know if you’re making the drive and we can recommend places to stay nearby.
Do you allow screens or smart phones?
No. As with all of our programs, we truly believe that periods of time away from screens and technology is developmentally appropriate for children and teens. Now more than ever, camp is the antidote to our screen dominated world. Campers appreciate real “FaceTime” and the simplicity of enjoying the present moment with friends.
What is the weather like?
The weather is ideal for an active day and it’s the reason why San Joaquin farming families since 1920 have flocked to the lake to escape the valley heat. During the summer the temperature can range from the low 70s to the high 80s. And since we’re at 7000 feet, at night it can cool down to the low-50s, but is typically in the mid-60s. We recommend sleeping bags rated 30 degrees or cooler.
How many campers are there?
We have enough beds for up to 72 campers (36 boys and 36 girls). For 2024, we expect sessions to be at around 48 campers.
What are the cabins like?
Cabins are brand new with bunk beds, 2 bathrooms, and a huge deck. All have electricity, windows, and hot water.
How are cabins assigned?
Campers are placed according to gender and grade. Groups typically have a combination of two grades (eg 5th and 6th graders). We do our best to honor requests to be with a friend and will discuss this with you if requests cannot be honored. We understand that part of camp is going back summer after summer to be with camp friends or to go to camp for the first time with a friend from home. Campers also come not knowing anyone at all. We take all the factors into consideration when forming groups – new, returning, home town, requests – and create a group that will be tight-knit and inclusive. While talking over camp with your child, keep in mind that it can be very beneficial for campers to be separated from friends from home. We have heard numerous times that campers have enjoyed the camp experience MORE by coming on their own. Camp is an opportunity for a fresh start socially, and we appreciate your support in making each cabin group balanced and unique.
What if my camper has dietary needs?
We accommodate gluten-free and vegan diets but are not a nut-free camp. We can remove nuts from the menu but some of the mixes used may contain trace amounts through processing. If your child has serious food allergies, then this camp is not a good fit. If in doubt, please contact us and we can talk through your child’s needs.
How do activities work?
This program is all about relaxing at the Lake. Each morning after breakfast, we’ll all head down to our private dock area. Here we can sit, relax, pick up a ukulele, climb in a kayak, head to a fishing area, swim, or just float. Each day there will be guided canoe and kayak trips. The highlight are our ski boats that will spend the day towing campers on skis, wakeboard, or on the multi person inflatables! Lunch will be served at the dock and then by mid afternoon we’ll head back up to the cabin area for a rest and shower period before deciding on optional activities for the afternoon. We also offer an optional trail ride with professional instructors. Fees and signups are taken in advance as space is limited. Signups are through the registration process or can be added anytime by contacting our office.
How does camp communicate with families?
We send an email out a week or so before camp with last minute reminders to make sure everyone is prepared. During camp we post lots of pictures through our own app. We also post to Facebook and Instagram. Counselors send a letter at the end of the session to review camper growth and development. Parents may send snail mail or one way emails that we print and deliver. Care packages are a nice idea but can create unintended issues so we do not allow them. Better to send campers with a good book and word puzzle.
How do you handle camper health and meds?
We have a nurse or EMT on staff at all times under the guidance of our camp doctor. Nurses provide first aid, dispense required medications, and give a little TLC to those that need rest in the Health Center. The majority of our staff are also CPR and Lifeguard certified. We are also very well connected to the Emergency Services at Huntington Lake. However, more routine medical care like ear infections or respiratory illness may require a trip to Clovis (a 90 minute drive.) For this reason, we will always contact parents when we see potential problems on the horizon. It is very important that each camper have someone available who can make the journey to Huntington Lake if illness or injury requires a medical visit or the camper needs to go home. If parents are out of town, the emergency contact must be someone capable of making decisions and available to pick up the camper within a reasonable amount of time.
Do you have a sickness policy?
Yes. Communal living is an amazing thing and protecting the health of all campers is vital. When campers become sick, they typically just need time to rest and rehydrate in the Health Center. We have several rooms that are left open for this purpose. If a camper should become sick, we will communicate with families to discuss symptoms and treatment plan. If the illness is severe or persists beyond 24 hours the family will be asked to pick the camper up or some sort of reasonable accommodation made with the families help. We screen campers prior to admitting them on the bus or upon arrival at camp as well to set a healthy baseline for our camp community. Huntington Lake is at 7000 feet above sea level. Because of this, some campers may experience some discomfort (headaches, tiredness, trouble sleeping) for a day or two as we all acclimatize. Please keep your campers well rested, well fed, and well hydrated a few days prior to camp. This will help with the adjustment. Also, please make sure you have indicated in your health history which over the counter medications we can offer your camper.
Ready to get started?
Kennolyn Camps, Huntington Lake takes place on a site that is operated under a Special Use Permit from the USDA Forest Service on the Sierra National Forest, California. The camp operates on a non-discriminatory, equal opportunity basis.