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Lions Camp Jack

Hello Lions Club Members –

On behalf of the Whispering Winds Board of Directors and Staff, we want to thank you for all your help and support with Camp Jack Summer 2024!

More than 60 children came to camp, many for the first time, exploring nature, learning about important life virtues and gaining the valuable skill of working as a team. We are so grateful to you for partnering with us so that these young lives could be molded and impacted for good.   

We look forward to building a long-term relationship with the Lions Club and Camp Jack!

Paula Bott
Director of Ministry Development & Programs
Whispering Winds Catholic Camp and Conference Center

Jack’s Dream

Lions Camp Jack was the dream of its founder, Jack Wyatt, a member of the Downtown San Diego Lions Club.

Jack’s dream was to provide a summer outdoor experience for San Diego’s at-risk youth. The goal is to provide a safe, fun-filled week vacation away from their regular surroundings that would build and perpetuate a friendly relationship with law enforcement personnel to reinforce moral and ethical values and community responsibility.

The dream became a reality in 1996 and has grown stronger each year. Participants attend Camp Jack for free and enjoy activities such as Archery, Arts and Crafts, Aquatics, and Hiking.

Camp Jack

Who are the Campers?

Campers at Camp Jack are San Diego-area at-risk youth that are referred by Law Enforcement and Youth-Serving Agencies. These children come from areas of San Diego where incomes are lowest and crime is highest – these are the high-risk youth of our community. They are chosen for this free week of fun, learning, and relaxation, and return home with a better outlook and a knowledge of people in the community, especially law enforcement officers, that really care about them. The age level is 9 to 12 years old – young enough to be influenced to make better decisions about their lives.

How are the Campers selected?

If you know a youth who qualifies, you can refer them directly to Kathleen Baldwin at (619) 295-8393, Extension 13, and can receive additional information about referring youth to Camp Jack.

The two major criteria are age (9-12 years old) and the undefined category of “at-risk”. Police, Probation Officers, Foster Family Groups, and Community Organizations can refer youth to Camp Jack. Youth can be awarded a scholarship to Camp Jack if they live in high-crime areas, are eligible for the school free-lunch programs, have had contact with Law Enforcement, and/or if they have family members that are incarcerated. Youth with inappropriate criminal backgrounds are not accepted.

How much does Camp Jack cost?

Each Camper costs the sponsors $625 for a week of camp, but each Camper is awarded a scholarship that pays this fee, so it is free for the youth to attend.

Camp Jack is run from funds provided by community donors who understand that every youth can benefit from a week of clean air, an safe environment away from gangs and drug violence, and a place they can make new and lasting friends.

Does Camp Jack work?

The Lions have found and long-term national data shows that after one week of camp 96% of Campers improved performance in the following areas: communication with others, accepting responsibilities, self-reliance, self-esteem, participation in recreation, skill achievement, and self-help skills.

Camp Jack has received many calls from parents stating, “Thanks, you gave me back my child.” We understand that not all miracles happen in a week, but year after year, Campers have asked to return and Camp Jack, and the camp has several past participants that serve as Counselors in Training. So, yes, it works!

How can you help?

Providing a free camping experience for at-risk youth every year is a costly venture. Lions Camp Jack receives major donations from the Downtown San Diego Lions Club, Lions Clubs of San Diego County, the Boys & Girls Foundation, and many other generous sponsors. However, Camp Jack also relies on the assistance of individual community donors like you.

If you or your organization can sponsor one or more of these deserving youngsters, please complete and submit the Send a Kid to Camp form and send your gift to the address at the bottom. Your donation is fully tax-deductible as Camp Jack is a 501(c)(3) Charity (EIN 33-0939506).

Camp Jack is community involvement in its best form.

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Send a Kid to Camp Donation Form