Welcome to Friends Of San Jose Family Camp

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Full Camp, Extra Help from “Friends”- Work Weekend Oct 2-3-4 Coming!

The long Labor Day weekend was a sold out private event up at camp, and as most of our regular staff has left for the summer, Friends of SJ Family Camp stepped in to help out.

Lots of extra kitchen help, fun and games, and serving meals to the 300+ campers up for the holiday weekend was what the volunteers provided with a smile. The WEATHER was perfect- hot days and cold nights with campfires & star gazing walks. And of course, some fun!

Harry kitchen spoonWe love camp- and we have ONE MORE chance to help out with another work weekend October 2,3, & 4th. We need a few more bodies, remember these are *HEAVILY DISCOUNTED*  weekends for you and your entire family to come up and help us get camp ready for winter. $10.00 per person ($40.00 max per family) is the total cost to you for Friday through Sunday as we tarp, cover, close up and spend those last cool nights in the Tuolomne Room around the fire at night! Please contact RAY at 408-476-1402 or email him at xray1946@gmail.com so he can get you on the list and give you info on how it works and how to meet up!


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Outreach Makes Membership

This spring our own Harry Wellman, Friends of Family Camp Secretary and long time Board of Directors member, took a Saturday to go to Discovery Meadow in San Jose and talk to folks about becoming members of “the friends”.

Harry low res


making name tags

We need more wonderful helpers than ever, and hope that YOU will reach out and assist us in our ongoing efforts to spread the word about our wonderful camp and the people that make it so!

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Rave Reviews of SJ Family Camp!

We have started hearing from some of this year’s campers, and thought it would be fun to share with the rest of our FriendsL


San Jose Family Camp is a wonderful place to take your family! Mom does NOT cook & kids run free! 1d ago

Emma Louise Cate from Country Club

My husband and I (ages 79 & 80), just returned from our FIRST heavenly and healing visit to San Jose Family Camp. We had heard about San Jose Family Camp for many years, but it was more beautiful and tranquil than I could have ever imagined. The day we arrived I could hardly walk, because of my lumbar stenosis and drop foot problem. On the second day I felt much better and enjoyed watching all the children running and playing freely like I remember doing as a child, a treat that many children seldom enjoy in our “modern” style of living. The manager and her staff were outstanding in their efforts to help people have a wonderful time. I slept well on my mattress and was glad in the middle of the night that I had a warm sleeping bad to pull over me. The food was good and the other campers very friendly and approachable. The atmosphere at the camp reminded me of the many times I youth hosteled when all the other hostelers seemed like distant cousins and we all helped each other out. My favorite memory is of watching and listening to the river, while children played in the water and adults fished. You can see a video of the life at San Jose Family Camp, if you used Google to get to their official site. You can also sign up for a stay there. It is worth going to now. Don’t wait until you are 80!

Shared with Country Club + 15 nearby neighborhoods in Sports/Recreation/Activities


Carie Shigemasa-Diaz from Almaden Mockingbird 1d ago

I totally agree we went as kids and now we take our kids who love it as much as we did back then. Next year they hope to renew the contract with the City of San Jose parks and Recreation and the View more U.S. Dept of Forestry for another 20 year lease. I hope everyone enjoys it and spread the word how family friendly it is for kids of all ages. The night hikes, full pool from dammed river and kids love playing in the Tuolumne river that goes thru the camp. Archery, volleyball, dance night, campfires, fishing, ping pong/shuttle board, hikes day/night and many other fun things. Best of all great family time being unplugged from everything and connecting to family! We went last weekend and plan on going again to see our friends and family there! Go before summer too late sign up on line so easy now!

Dimitra Dionisio from Graystone 1d ago

We went last year with our then 2 year old daughter. Had a wonderful time!

Carla Gerber from Country Club 1d ago

I absolutely fell in love with SJ Family Camp all over again in reading your account. Our family went there several summers in the 70’s and found it to be perfect for all of us. Maybe Tom and I will consider doing it again. Thank you for the beautiful reawakening!
Carla Gerber

Jenica Chong from Glenview Serenity 1d ago

We couldn’t agree with you more. This is our 5th consecutive year going with our now almost 7 year olds. We started out with 4 families in our first year and have now expanded it to over 10 families. It is truly a camp we all look forward to every year. To be unplugged and enjoying quality time with family and friends is truly priceless. We highly recommend it!

IMG_8509Come up and set a spell

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September Board Meeting: Wed, Sept. 9th, 2015 at 7PM

It’s the start of FALL and time to round up the gang and set a course for our future!

Friends of SJ Family Camp meets monthly on the SECOND WEDNESDAY of every month. We usually gather at Kelly Park inside the south side building,  Leninger Center. We start at 7PM, and usually try to finish by 8 ish depending on how much business we have to deal with. Our meetings are fairly informal and OPEN to everyone willing to sit on metal folding chairs around fold up tables.
ar129631955759958 oCan’t wait to see you – Please do join us!


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Where DO those donations GO?

Yes, we get that question all the time, and we sure do need all the help we can get because STUFF HAPPENS ALL THE TIME AND WE STEP IN TO HELP.

Last week, our favorite chef and Friend Board member Ralph Occhipinti (that’s Ralph O to friends) took time out to replace a damaged can opener up at camp. These commercial can openers take a pounding and need to work perfect in the kitchen- and friends stepped right up to replace the 20 year old faulty one that was no longer safe. Opening #10 cans takes serious muscle (notice 2 types below) above kitchen style openers, and we are happy to be able to handle this ASAP.

214-d-002 200957102916838483THANK YOU to the many Friends members who’s dues and extra donations make this kind of service to camp possible for us.

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Summer is NOT over yet! VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Grab your gear Friends of San Jose Family Camp! We have a couple of weekends left before the snows arrive, and lots to do at camp!

There is a call out for help over Labor Day Weekend for anyone who has volunteered with us before to help staff for a special engagement. If you can volunteer to help host some special guests and *have been approved or cleared* to work these kinds of events, please let us know ASAP. Not sure if you are cleared? Check with us!  Weekend help should arrive late Thursday Sept 3 or early Friday Sept 4th  and plan to work shifts through Monday afternoon September 7th.  Contact Deb at 408-230-3545 by text or call for more information.2015-07-03 14.34.02


Our crack summer staff working the corn crop 4th of July Weekend.

Work Weekend for October 2-3-4 just announced!

We have an all hand weekend for families getting some chores done for the 1st weekend in October. Interested in helping out? Contact Ray Pirlot or send inquiries to the camp mailing address at 21472 Almaden Road, San Jose, Ca 95120


 Camp dining hall being closed up for winter.

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We had an almost sold out camp for the opening of fishing season 2015, and the fishing was GREAT!  Maybe it was the weather which gave us a lovely overcast Friday and a raining Saturday to bring those big boys out. Rain felt and sounded SO nice to everyone, and the Tuolomne Room fireplace got a great work out both nights.

Prizes went out Saturday night to our 2 big winners who were awarded their trophies and *cash prizes* of $145.00 each. Sara Bae won our Jr’s. category and Johnathan Liebenberg won our adults category, each with fish approx 16 1/2″ long.  We are very proud to host this event each year.

imageWe are very pleased to announce that we raised almost $700.00 over the weekend towards camp upkeep, programs, and camperships- We couldn’t do it without YOU!


Friends of San Jose Family Camp President Tom Bonsack spent some time during the spring to create a very special “THANK YOU” to one of Fish Camp’s big supporters,

Moccasin Creek Trout Hatchery Manager

Justin Croeze

Every year the management takes time out to not only stock the rivers around us, but to come into camp and show the kids just how we manage wildlife in California for everyone to enjoy. This year, we were proud to present a very special plaque and “Thank You” framed note to them for the great support to us.

Capture2 3The hatchery is one of our neighbors, and offer both tours and some great “fish feeding” for kids and adults. Stop by some time- Moccasin-Cr-Hatchery-1954



Our early season work party got lots of painting and maintenance work done, even with a small crowd. We send a special shout out to the Whitney’s for giving so much help to camp and making the weekend a wonderful one.

YOU can come up to camp – no tent charge!- on one of our work weekends. Next up- we need 30 folks to help plant over May 29-31. $10.00 a person for meals and all the fun and memories you can hold. Contact us via RAY at 408-476-1402 too sign up and learn more.

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It’s FISHING Season Weekend OPENER!

imageWE are happy to offer this years Derby Plaques to our big winners this Saturday April 25th at the FSJFC  annual Fish Derby

We hope you are coming up to camp with us this weekend- discount rates apply- check the city web site, there are still a few tents available for the spring opener.

Friday night we have the Friends dinner, $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids (wee ones eat free), but ya have to get there Friday 4-24 to enjoy!


Yes it’s here!  Trout season in California! All the men and women who have joined Friends of San Jose Family Camp invite you to join us and enjoy the mountain air!

Grab your rod and reel, throw a sleeping bag in the truck and head out to the High Sierras for a fabulous fun time with us at Family Camp Fish Weekend April 24-25-26.

Reservations are available on line and open now at http://familycampreservations.com/


Every year our fearless fishing mountain men work hard to provide a fun lively fishing camp focus for the outdoorsmen,women, and children who love the crispy spring air, the thrill of the bait and the first poles into the streams for another year.

We offer more than just a place to park however- Family Camp at Yosemite offers a full weekend of fun, starting with our

spagSign up thru the city web site for camp and indicate you and your group would like to attend the Friday Night All You Can Eat fill-up and Thrill Up Spaghetti Dinner and you will be enjoying a hot meal when you arrive Friday in camp.

We cook the whole shebang on site with fresh salad and piping hot french bread. You may add to the evening with your own drink selections although we offer a wide range of milk and water, coffee, tea, and juice. Payment is by cash or check made out to “Friends of San Jose Family Camp” at the dining hall Friday evening. While you are enjoying dinner, take the time to…..

stock-footage-fly-fishing-in-mountain-streamSign up for the Saturday Fishing Derby! We have cash prizes and GREAT wall plaque awards for the top Jr. and Adult Fishermen of the day bringing in the largest fish on Saturday. Saturday is ALSO a fun time for kids to learn all about how we manage our natural resources in the Sierras, with a visit from our friends the State Fish and Game Department from

Moccasin Creek Trout Hatchery

3We have been overjoyed to have the men and women of our State Department come down to our section of the river for planting and showed our kids how the farm raised fish are returned to the wild. The hatchery, located just 30 min from us on Hi. 120, is open for visitors daily and has lots of places to feed the fish. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/Moccasin/

Friends of SJ Family Camp is a volunteer organization that works together to bring out the best in camp, help keep it tidy, and sponsor fun activities for our members. Please consider becoming a member for $20.00 a year and helping us continue the fun.

With breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday breakfast included for your Fish Camp Weekend, covered wooden frame tents supplied with beds, nice indoor working plumbing with showers, washers and dryers, and fun activities like gold panning and games, Fish Camp Weekend gives families a great get away for their money, within 3 hours of home and just 30 min. from the majesty of the Yosemite Valley.



Want to fish outside camp? Check out these web sites for some great ideas: http://www.davessierrafishing.com/destinations/tenaya_creek.html http://www.froess.com/camping/yosemite/relief.htm http://yosemiteblog.com/2008/05/13/chris-asks-wheres-good-fishing-in-yosemite-this-time-of-year/ http://www.myyosemitepark.com/go-fishing-in-sierra-nevada/

Need a new sleeping bag? Want an extra lantern? Got bait?

MelCottonsMel Cotton’s Sporting Goods is a proud sponsor of camp.

mel busiess



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City Council April 7th at 1:30 PM Council Chambers in “The Wing”

SJ_DKidd+(2)Meet us at the SJ CITY HALL on Tuesday April 7th at 1:30 PM when we go before the City Council for the next contract with our Forestry Landlord.  Bring the kids, wear your fave camp shirts, and let’s show the new council members how much we all LOVE our camp and how important it is in the lives of our kids, our parents, and our hearts!


Want to hear more about our camp? Camp manager Jenna was interviewed 4-6 by Channel 2 Fox News, and you can catch that interview on the 10:00 news or at their web page here.


Coming this weekend:

Mel Cotton’s Fishing Expo with Friends of Camp!

We have the TENT and the SPOT, and we want to see YOU this weekend April 11 & 12 for our big 2 day outreach for the fishing season at Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods.mel-cottons-sporting-goods-san-jose-ca

Come down and say hello, help pass out fliers, watch the fish expo, and have some FUN!


Did you see the article about camp in the neighborhood newspapers and the Mercury?

“San Jose Family Camp in Yosemite sees ‘renewed excitement,’ hopes for 20-year lease”  is a great article about camp and it’s flourishing future as we gear up for the 2015 season.



We are pleased to help spread the word about current job openings for the 2015 season.

Jobs 1Job 2

Want to learn more about us? Just ask! The upper trails are open, the rivers are full of fish and the Friends of San Jose Family Camp want to help YOU have the best camping trip of your life, and make memories that will last your kids forever.




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City Council April 7th. Outreach at Happy Hollow Sat 4-4.

The city has moved us back to a new date on their calendar- our hearing to decide on a new length of contract is at the 1:30 Council meeting on April 7th, Council Chambers

There is free parking (get your stub validated) under city hall (enter on 5th street), and city buses stop in front on Santa Clara.

Updates will be posted here as needed.


Saturday April 4 we are reaching out at Happy Hollow!

Come say “Hi” and share a story, shake a hand, and get the inside information from the board and friends this Sat April 4th from 9am -2pm at Kelly Park! We will have the tent up, the Friends out, and be looking to share the joys of camp with new friends- and we would LOVE to have YOU.


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