Camp Keep's 50th

KEEP History

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The Kern Environmental Education Program (KEEP) was developed in the 1968-1969 school year in response to the desire to offer an environmental education opportunity for students of Kern County. The Kern County Superintendent of Schools office (KCSOS), working with representatives from local school districts, developed a five-day environmental education experience. A novel feature of KEEP, is that from the beginning, it was designed with mobility in mind. The program was designed so it could easily be moved from one location to another.

The first camp was held in the spring of 1969 at Tehachapi Mountain Park and Camp Condor near Pine Mountain Club. In spring 1971, KEEP was moved to Hart Flat.

In fall 1971, KEEP Ocean operated at a temporary location at Hazard Canyon within the Montaña de Oro State Park in San Luis Obispo County. KEEP Ocean moved to its permanent home in Montaña de Oro State Park in spring of 1972, where it continues to operate today.

Because of its popularity, a second campus was opened in 1987 in the Sierra foothills near Glennville. The camp was operated on the grounds of Camp Dickson YMCA. KCSOS purchased the YMCA Dickson Camp in 1990 and officially re-named it after KEEP Sierra.

A third campus — KEEP Cambria — was added in 1992. Because California’s central coast was a more popular destination for local schools, KEEP Sierra was closed in 2003 and programs were condensed to the two coastal campuses.

During the 2017-18 school year, campers scheduled to attend KEEP Cambria were accommodated at two temporary sites due to on-going construction on the property where KCSOS had long leased land for KEEP Cambria. A new campus located in Arroyo Grande opened in August 2018 — known as KEEP By-the-Sea — to replace the KEEP Cambria.

KEEP Through the Years

KEEP Memories

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