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San Francisco’s Camp Mather – Best Kept Secret?

San Francisco’s Camp Mather – Best Kept Secret?

Where did you spend your summer vacation? We spent a week at Camp Mather which prompts the question, “What is Camp Mather”? Camp Mather is a family camp located outside of the Yosemite Valley, owned by the City of San Francisco, run by the Recreation and Park Department and originally housed the workers building the Hetch Hetchy Damn. I first heard about it from parents in my son’s kindergarten class. Seemed like everyone knew about it but us. As a child my parents brought us to a family camp called Camp Blue and as I listened to the description of Camp Mather I was transformed back to those happy childhood days of singing “If I had a Hammer and Kum Ba Yah while toasting marshmallows, making hideous arts and crafts and running free. Our childhood vacations consisted of two destinations. Shipped off to LA to swim in a pool and learn good manners from our Aunt or car camping. Loved the Encino life with pools, movie stars and shopping malls but camping was my favorite. Camp fires, marshmallows, swimming in lakes and the freedom of the outdoors. After listening to Camp Mather stories for 9 years, we finally made it to the infamous Camp. Was it everything we had hoped for? Yes! 400-500 San Francisco residents descend on the grounds for one of 12 weeks. The registration process starts in January with a semi-complicated sign up routine on the Rec and Park website and a $100 deposit. This places you in the lottery for a spot and then you wait. When we were accepted I did feel like we...