Pendola Center is the official youth ministry summer camp of the Diocese of Sacramento. Located on 40 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills above Grass Valley, Pendola is about a 2-hour drive from Sacramento.
The property was donated to the Diocese in 1959 in the memory of Frank Pendola for use as a summer camp for children. The first camp was held the summer of 1960 under the directions of Fr. Keith Kenny with approximately 30 campers and a staff of eight staying for one ten-day session of tent camping.
Since then Pendola Center has grown to eight weeks of summer camping for boys and girls ages 6 to 16. Over 28,000 campers have slept in the cabins, swam in the pond, and hiked the surrounding hills. A four-week outdoor education program is scheduled to take place during October aimed at sixth grade curriculum. The facility is used by parishes and groups from the Diocese of Sacramento and also surrounding dioceses as a place for retreats, youth trainings and gatherings.
Pendola Center is in a major rebuilding process after a fire destroyed the kitchen, dining room and another building in February of 2005. Hoping to reopen with a new kitchen, dining room and multi-purpose building in late fall of 2007, Pendola hopes to offer the youth of the diocese an improved place to hold retreats and gatherings.
Summer Camp Program
With over 45 years of operation the camp often has third generation campers enjoying some of the same activities as their parents and grandparents. Going from tents to cabins, the Pendola facility has seen enormous changes throughout the years with the building of dormitories, additional cabins, a shower house and a chapel.
Some of the activities during the traditional summer program include archery, nature activities, overnights, great all camp games and evening activities, canoeing, polar bear swims and each day begins and ends with prayer.
Each Labor Day weekend, families have the opportunity to come to Pendola and join in activities specially designed for them. Many of the same activities that are enjoyed in our traditional summer camp, are enjoyed by families during their three day/two night stay.
Outdoor Education Programs
Creature Camp is a unique program that focuses on education and faith formation academic guidelines. A full service program, including outdoor education classes, daily prayer services, accommodations, meals, recreation and evening activities are all offered in a camp setting. The word “Creature” is a theological term which describes a relationship we people share with all creation — we are all creatures of God.
Weekend retreat facilities include dormitory style housing and the option of having Pendola Center provide home-style cooking, or doing the cooking yourself. With the new multi purpose activity building, there will be plenty of space for small group break out rooms in additional to space for whole group gatherings. Our Lady of the Sierra Chapel is available to all groups for liturgies.
Annual Golf Tournament
Camp Pendola hosts an annual golf tournament to raise funds for camp scholarships. On an average, each year’s tournament helps send about 100 children to camp for a week.
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