Welcome to Friends Of San Jose Family Camp

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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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The Impact of The Rim Fire and the Future of our Forest- Eventbrite

The Rim Fire was one of the nation’s worst disaster’s and one of the worst fires California has ever had. The Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp will be hosting the event, “The Impact of the Rim Fire and the Future of the Forest.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)

Berkeley, CA                  


The Impact of The Rim Fire and the Future of our Forest- Eventbrite
Eventbrite – Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp presents The Impact of The Rim Fire and the Future of our Forest – Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley, CA. Find event and ticket information.

View a  powerful presentation, and ask questions about The Rim Fire and its effects on the land as the US Forest Service works towards reforesting an area the size of Los Angeles!

Lets get educated about the scope of the work ahead of us to help rebuild our beloved Stanislaus forest and the areas we love to recreate in.

We will also have the most recent update about Camp Tuolumne and the rebuilding efforts by the City of Berkeley.

please note: The presentation includes video of The Rim Fire up close – we hear and see the fire in amazing footage. This event may not be good for small children. Please feel free to email me personally (scott@fobtc.com) if you have questions.


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UPDATE- No FAMILY CAMP Agenda for the Council meeting in March! NO MEETING MARCH 24TH.

Our City Council has moved hearing about camp and making a decisive vote to the April 7th Council meeting- most likely the 1:30 pm time for their weekly session.  They have taken us off the agenda for Tuesday the 24th and rescheduled for April 7th.Council ChambersWe want to have a great turn out of interested parties there to make sure our council members know how deeply important CAMP is to all of us and how much we want them to support this unique and irreplaceable park. It is not easy to let new council folks understand the long history of camp, how many hundreds of thousands it has served, or just what a great experience it is for our residents. But you CAN help!


CALL your Council person.



EMAIL your council person. onlinegentleman

And come to the council meetings.

Council members and contact info are listed further down the page. Need help? Just let us know, contact Deb at DBSHollis@aol.com.


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The City Council meeting encompassing the whole council and dealing with the next lease agreement for camp has been moved ONE WEEK to March 24th at 1:30 in the council chambers. PLEASE come (in a camp shirt?) and support this resource for us.

Today, we had the neighborhood services and education committee meeting where several of our new council folks met us and learned about camp for the first time. You might recognize one of the speakers talking to them about the unique things camp brings in to our lives.

city meeting me Watch the entire meeting HERE


Board meeting of 3-11 at Leninger Center went really well. Several new things are now set on the calendar.

March 24: 1:30 PM City Council meeting- we request friends come support staff report.

April 4thL Outreach day at Happy Hollow Zoo. We need volunteers to help with set up, take down, and glad handing during the day. We usually provide pizza and a few laughs.

April 10-11-12 Major outreach at Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods store during their big FISH expo. The huge fishing tank, the give aways, the educators, the sales, and the Family Camp Tent needs someone manning it during the weekend. Please call and let Ray or Nicole or Deb know you can help- 408-230-3545.

April 24-25-26 It’s the opening of Fishing Season and FISH CAMP WEEKEND!fish camp Sign up on line 

Fish camp flier for fishermen


May 1-2-3 Major Work Weekend, and we need all hands helping out with the 300 plants that need to go into the ground this weekend!

May 29-30-31 Major work weekend and last chance to get camp in shape for summer!

Still need those volunteer forms? Copy this at home and bring/mail/ esend to us:Volunteers page 3work weekends 2Volunteers page 1




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Board Meeting Wed March 11, 7:00 PM

If you received a work party sign up in the mail, please note that last month we had several CHANGES:

Work Parties are Aprl 10-12,  May 1-3 and May 29-31.

Please come give camp support at the Public City Council Meeting Tuesday May 17th starting promptly at 1:30 PM.

A letter from our President of Friends of San Jose Family Camp:

Family Camp at Yosemite Lease Renewal Campaign

Our Position: Family Camp is a valuable community asset that is available to all residents of San Jose.

E-MAIL or WRITE your Council member from your district expressing your support for Camp, its value and vitality to the City. Describe its importance to you and your family.

Camp needs your support, act now this week.


  • San Jose is one of few cities that has a quality, family oriented outdoor camp offering a unique Sierra experience.
  • Camp is supported by a strong and experienced group of volunteers, the Friends of San Jose Family Camp, established in 1973.
  • Camp can serve nearly 5000 campers/year, more than any City parks program.
  • It’s a destination where many generations of a family can vacation together.
  • Camp is available pre & post season to groups and families.
  • Camp provides jobs and summer work for our students and youth.
  • Camp teaches children independence, respect for nature, and sharing with and supporting others.
  • Family Camp is a precious resource and a unique property and experience that returns more value to the citizens of San Jose than any other City recreational program.

Keep our San Jose Family Camp program as a vital part of the City of San Jose and ensure budget funding for Camp as a value item for 2015 and years to come.

Contact your Councilperson today to keep OUR vital resource. Council contact information follows on the next page.

Better yet, form a group of 2-3 Family Camp patrons from your City Council district, call your Council member and request a brief meeting. Have 4-5 sentences to say in support of the proposal you are making. Discuss family values of our community and how they relate to Family Camp. Have a brief personal story or two to support your points.

The San Jose City Council begins to decide the fate of Family Camp at their March 17, 2015 meeting.

These are the critical dates for Camp in March. We need your participation at these meetings:

Neighborhood Service and Education Committee

March 12, 2015, Thursday beginning at 1:30 pm

San Jose City Hall, Rooms W-118 & 119

200 East Santa Clara Street, validated free parking under City Hall

San Jose City Council Meeting

March 17, 2015 Tuesday beginning at 1:30 pm

Council Chambers at City Hall

200 East Santa Clara Street, validated free parking under City Hall

Thank You, Tom Bonsack,

President, Friends of San Jose Family Camp.


Contacting your council members and reminding them what this camp means to us all is vital- this week we also provide you with a list of the council members and their districts for your help or visit the web page HERE.
Contact the City Councilmembers
To contact members of the San José City Council by mail, send to:
200 E. Santa Clara St.
San José, CA 95113


Mayor Sam LiccardoMayor Sam Liccardo
Ph: (408) 535-4800
Current Calendar
Term Expires: 12/31/18
Chief of Staff: J. Reed’s Calendar
Chappie JonesCharles “Chappie” Jones, District 1
Ph: (408) 535-4901
Current Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/18
Chief of Staff: J. Ferguson’s Calendar
Councilmember Ash KalraAsh Kalra, District 2
Ph: (408) 535-4902
Current Calendar
Archived Calendar
District Events
2nd Term Expires: 12/31/16
Staff: S. Shih’s Calendar
Archived Calendar
Councilmember Raul PeralezRaul Peralez, District 3
Ph: (408) 535-4903
Current Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/18
Chief of Staff: L. Guel’s Calendar
Councilmember Margie MathewsMargie Matthews, District 4
Ph: (408) 535-4904
Current Calendar
District Events
Chief of Staff: A. Gomez’s Calendar
Councilmember Magdalena CarasscoMagdalena Carrasco, District 5
Ph: (408) 535-4905
Current Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/18
Chief of Staff: V. Gomez’s Calendar
Pierluigi OliverioPierluigi Oliverio, District 6
Ph: (408) 535-4906
Current Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/16
Councilmember Tam NguyenTam Nguyen, District 7
Ph: (408) 535-4907
Current Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/18
Rose HerreraVice Mayor Rose Herrera, District 8
Ph: (408) 535-4908
Current Calendar
Archived Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/16
Chief of Staff: M. Groen’s Calendar
Archived Calendar
Councilmember Donald RochaDonald Rocha, District 9
Ph: (408) 535-4909
Current Calendar
Archived Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/18
Staff’s Calendar: P. Hamilton’s Calendar
Archived Calendar
Councilmember Johnny Khamis, District 10Johnny Khamis, District 10
Ph: (408) 535-4910
Current Calendar
Archived Calendar
District Events
Term Expires: 12/31/16
Chief of Staff: S. Connolly’s Calendar
Archived Calendar


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Cold In The Mountains

March 3d: Today we update the blog to show you the frost on Yosemite Upper Falls- yes, it is getting darned chilly up here this year, so remember to bring the sleeping bags, extra sox at night, maybe even a beanie hat to keep you toasty warm.

We NEED your support at the City Council Meeting Tuesday March 17th, 1 PM- our camp manager will be presenting long term goals to the council and our voices should be heard and SEEN with our numbers. If you are free, please attend. Parking is validated when you use the under structure lot. 


Friends are invited to join up and come with us on various work weekends when *camping with us is free and meals are $10.00 per person for the WEEKEND* while we clean up camp. This spring we have 300 plants to get in the ground and NEED volunteers. Not a member yet? Sign up for work weekend and update/begin your membership when you arrive at camp- just see Ray when you arrive! MAY 1,2,3 is a great date to come up to the Sierras!

Chocolate Cosmos

Come see us at MEL COTTONS outreach weekend April 11th in their parking lot for Fishing Days and get all your gear for Fish Camp time. We will have the Friends Tent UP and be waiting for YOU. Fish Camp is April 24-25-26.

mel busiess

Our outreach committee is working on calling all members about the needed volunteers and updating email addresses. Please let us know if you have made changes we might be unaware of.


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Work Weekends: Time at Camp with Friends

Camping has always been a family event, even when it was “time to get some work in” as we spruce up our lovely acreage, clean the kitchens, paint the rails, rake the paths and haul out the stored summer furniture. This year our May 1-3 weekend will include planting 300 new plants up at camp- bring your shovels!


Did you know that our work weekends are NOT rental weekends? Yes! When Friends of Family Camp volunteer our time, we are not renting tents and using facilities as campers during full summer season. We are attending *as a volunteer group* for the weekend, and as such, we get some great perks.

work weekend

Weekend costs are $10.00 a person for food. Simple, hearty fare handled BY our volunteers FOR our volunteers.

There is no rental cost on tents, no other camping costs at all. What a GREAT way to enjoy the Sierras on a budget and give back to the community all at the same time! We have day care set up for folks with small tykes so everyone can help, and encourage bringing up your ice chests and assorted snackies for sharing with our happy guys.

Work Weekends for 2015 Will Be May 1-3  and May 29-31

Contact Ray (that’s him in the green sweater up there first on the left in front) ASAP to let him know if you and or family want to join us.   xray1946@gmail.com, or Nicole who helps out with work weekends at Nicole.Hall@harker.org   or by text to 408-230-3545 with questions or help.



Wed. March 4, 5:30 pm. Parks & Rec

Thursday March 12, 1:00 pm Neighborhood Services

Tuesday, March 17,  1:00 pm Full City Council. Remember, we have new council members who are not aware of camp and have no idea how much it contributes to our lives.

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