Camp Paivika's Carnival Day!

By Herbert L. McGurk II

Climbing up to Camp Paivika was a great adventure.  Camp Paivika is in the San Bernardino National Forest.  In other words, for a guy in LA, it’s a great drive up into the mountains, especially on a nice summer day.  When I arrived in the parking area, there was a sign “Welcome Rotarians!” with imprints of many different painted hands.  Underneath the sign was a big black Rottweiler, standing at attention.  “Oh course, this is the right place…nice doggie…”  After getting out of the car, I noticed our past president Jose and his family getting out their car, which, of course, put me at ease and  was a welcomed sight. 

This was an amazing place, atop the mountains, pristine landscape, pool, miniature Shetland pony (like the regular Shetland pony is already small), tents were set up for a festive day of games and fun things at the camp. 

I made my way to the lodge where is a general meeting area and cafeteria.  There I met up with the rest of the Rotarians as we help ourselves to coffee and pastries that were provided for us.  After refreshing ourselves and getting ourselves together, we went out back to the carnival style tents where we were going to spend our day of recreation and fun. 

We were introduced to the obstacle course and assigned jobs as to what we would need to do to help assist the campers through the course.  Groups of A, B, Cs were divided up into teams and ran through the course.  It was amazing to watch the different campers go through this course with a care-free style and enjoyment.  It was pretty exciting for all of us.  After a number of campers were run through the course, the camp counselor asked which Rotarians would run through the course.  I don’t know what came over me but, I shouted; “Todd” right out of my mouth.  Sure enough, our fearless president lined up for the tunnel, the bean bag, the hoops, the freebie and the hockey puck course.  Yes, he was a champ and did us proud. 

After the obstacle course, it was time to play games at the carnival.  We were all divided into groups with the campers.  I had three wonder guys; Michael, Joshua & Kyle.  We fished, played pyramid blocks, knock down the bottles in a bean toss and each had their fortunate read by Madame Gina.  It was a pretty good time by all. 

After working up an appetite, the campers went back into the dining hall while the Rotarians went out in the open air and enjoyed a fabulous lunch by Lawyers Steak House. 

It was a pretty amazing day.

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