Wed03042015

Magazine

The bottom line on camp costs

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Bridge programs help achievement span the summer


Peninsula Bridge Summer programming helps low-income students achieve throughout the school year by filling the gap.

Summertime brings a form of freedom, when young people celebrate their freedom in lazy backyard afternoons and attending their camps of choice.

But it also creates a gap. Summer enrichment programming is often the first to go when school districts cut budgets, yet it can be particularly crucial for low-income students at risk of what educators call "summer learning loss," the achievement gap between those who seek out and pay for summer enrichment activities and those who can’t afford them.

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Community policing goes to camp


Mountain View Police Department Police officers transform into camp counselors in Mountain View each summer as part of the Dreams & Futures program.

For a young person growing up in the Mountain View area, a police officer can represent aid - or a hassle or threat.

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Summer camp proves beneficial for children


Town Crier File Photo
Learning how to read the land and search out edible nibbles connects campers to a shared human past.

I remember summer camp well - that time between school years when we were allowed to be outside all day, every day.

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Tracing history on foot: Hidden Villa’s long hike


Campers on Hidden Villa’s Sierra Backpacking Trip study historical photos to measure how the land has changed and alternate serving as student leaders who guide the route of their three-week trek.

Amid the high-tech camps and programs of a Bay Area summer, a few organizations and individual families take science to the mountains, directly examining how climate change, the landscape and human needs intertwine.

One local group learns - on foot - how glacial movement once shaped vast mountains and measures drought-driven austerity by its inching retreat. For last year’s inaugural Sierra Backpacking Trip, Hidden Villa campers made an 18-day foray into Yosemite’s wilds, wending up hillsides and off trails to track how the land has changed over the past century and why. Eleven high school juniors and seniors with two adults traced the Bay Area’s major water source up Yosemite’s rugged terrain to its origins in the high mountains.

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Let there be Lights: Los Altos’ annual holiday parade is months in the making


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Volunteer Deborah Baker, a member of the Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade Board, readies a float for the Nov. 30 event. Baker has worked on floats for the past few years with her son’s Boy Scout troop.

Behind every float at Los Altos’ Festival of Lights Parade, there’s a story of Boy Scouts, dust cloths, light design and elf scavenging.

Before dancers flit across Main Street among parade floats Nov. 30, a zealous cadre of volunteers will have spent the year fundraising, shellacking giant gumdrops with glitter sugar and mood lighting a tableau of tree-decorating bears.

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The big push: For some local businesses, success during the holidays means months of preparation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Annie Bennett arranges a “Frozen” holiday display at Adventure Toys & Teachers’ Supplies.

Holiday shopping can be an arduous task - from compiling a list of gift ideas throughout the fall to braving the crush of consumers flooding stores.

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