Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bluebirds Camp Fire Girls, Camp Yallani San Bernardino Mountains California

Had fun looking through an old album of mine with photos and souvenirs from my Camp Fire Days in the 1950's.  In this picture I am a member of the Sunshine Blue Birds of Los Angeles.  Look for me in the back row (3 of us at left side) I am in the middle
The highlight of my Bluebirds and Canp Fire Girls Days was attending Camp Yallani in the San Bernardino Mountains above Redlands California.  We slept outside on cots and I always worried about the bears.  I remember my Mother driving me to a spot in downtown Los Angeles where I boarded a bus taking me to camp.

 Reading through the brochure about Camp Yallani was a lot fun.  I think it is a private camp now..Bluebirds no long exist and it is now Camp Fire and is coed.  I can still hear the melody from the song Camp Yallani......
Finding this old envelope made me go looking for the album.


Beth Niquette said...

Oh, my goodness! I still have my bluebird pin from years ago. I loved going to bluebirds. lol

Thanks again for the sweet memories.

Zach said...

Would you consider writing something about your memories of Camp Yallani? I would like to compile a book about Camp Fire Girls' camps.
Mary Alice

Davi-May said...

I not only was a camper, I was a CIT, and counselor. One of the best times of my young life. I was a two weeker, always. Some of my friends from Camp Yallani days are coming for a get together next month.

Holly said...

I went to Camp Wasewagan in 1960 - 1969. It was right next door to Camp Yallani on the River Road. I can remember crossing the Santa Ana River in an Embree yellow school bus. I used to go past the end of our Bluebird Village where the fire circle was and the boundary between Yallani and Wasewagan and pick through the trees to see if I could see anyone. Wasewagan is now a private camp and is called Camp Crazy Wasewagan.

Unknown said...

Just a single one-week stint at Camp Yallani... that's all I experienced. It was probably around 1967 or so. And I attended with my best friend, Candi Albers. We had the coolest counselor, named Ericka, from Austria. My memories are so vivid and varied. It's hard to imagine a one week event from my entire life that has stayed with me so richly. I remember the songs around the campfire. I remember the food - served "family style" to each table. I remember swimming lessons (I couldn't swim a stroke when I arrived!)
And I remember the night our cabin went on a hay ride. During that event the chlorine gas pipe (by the swimming area) sprung a leak and they evacuated the entire camp to a nearby location. We were up most of the night, while it was repaired. What an adventure! They had to dig a big trench in the ground and surround it with blankets, making an impromptu toilet area to accommodate all the little girls who had to "go potty."

Ingrid Larson
Long Beach, CA

nancy j said...

so funny to see the post about the broken pipe...same happened to me, and after a hay ride. but I was there in 2nd and 3rd grade...would have been 1964 or 1965 I think! Crazy! Were you there the year they had a breakout of pink-eye?

Nancy Chibazakura said...

I am so happy to have found your blog!! I have been thinking I must have imagined I was at CY since I don't know anyone else who went there (except maybe some childhood friends I don't really keep in touch with anymore). I was there for one or two weeks maybe in 1969-1970, my first time away from home for that long, so a big impression on my memory!!! I remember the hall where we ate in groups, sleeping on the cots, horseback riding, hiking to (Tuolomne Meadows??) and being stung by nettles there, and yes, the song, "Camp Yallani, Camp Yallani, with the (something something), Camp Yallani, Camp Yallani, with the Santa Ana flowing by" !

Colleen Tarr-Hulbert said...

"With the mountains growing to the sky, WO HE LO!, Camp Yalani, Camp Yalani, with the san ta ana flowing by. Have you roamed the forests for hours, gathering pine cones, poplars, and flowers, sometimes caught in downpouring showers, that's our Camp Yalani! " I remember the mess hall too, with "hoppers" and "moppers". And remember the day trip bag lunches with the peppermint stick and orange? I went for the one week session in 1968 and 1969 I think. Miss Jenny was my counselor one year and Miss Leslie the second. Good memories!

Sandy Fletcher said...

Camp Yallani molded my life. I attended from 1964 through 1974 and then returned to work there in 1980. I even moved to Angelus Oaks and worked off and on at Yallani for years. You might be interested in the Facebook group "I worked at Camp Yallani!". Love to all my Camp Fire Girls sister.

M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerry Rose said...

I went to Camp Yallani for about 6 summers for 2 weeks each -- 1963 to 1967 there abouts --I have such great memories - I remember the songs and hikes and frogs and swimming and the mess hall and singing after every meal -- I used to cry for a week after I came home knowing I would never see anyone again from there -- Making things with Manzanita wood...

Patricia McKinley said...

I went to Camp yallani from the time I was 9 until 13 years of age, in the 1950s. I still remember it as being an absolutely wonderful two weeks. Camp yallain, Camp yallini with the mountains pointing to the sky..... the campfires, the hikes, the friendships, the counselers, the tents and cots outside; learning to make a hobo stove and cooking egges; fishing in the Santa Ana river, learning about all the birds, bears etc; hiking to greyback and jenks lake. Making friends that I will never forget...Donna Baron where are you???? Too bad that it is private now. Campfire grils rocked.

Jennifer Curtis said...

Thank you for doing this blog. It has cheered me up with good memories from my Camp Fire days! I went to Camp Yallani for one week each summer from 1966 through 1971. I was one of the few African American girls from the Angeles Council who went to camp. Thanks again!

Laura Brown said...

WO HE LO everyone -Camp Yallani Camp Yallani with the Santa Ana flowing by. . .I attended for two summers in '68 and '69 and absolutely loved it. Floating down the Santa Ana made a huge impression on me. I can still remember the sunlight through the trees and the coldness of the water. Attending that camp produced some of the best memories of my life. Loved the family style meals, the singing, the campfires and best of all my counselor and CIT.
Thanks for the chance to share

Nancy K said...

Great memories of Camp Yalani/Yallani! Slushy Meadows, switchback trail, Greyback ... canoeing on Jenks Lake. Davi-May! I remember you as a counselor, early 60s. What's the good word?

Diana Cox said...

Diana M. C..I went to Camp Yallani in the mid-fifties. I had great times and not so great times. There are always those few that picked on others (yes, even we had our bullies). We had great counsellors and fun activities. Too much to really write here, but it's a shame more kids don't get those opportunities. We didn't have any Camp Fire Girls when I had my girls, so they went into Mini-Scouts (I think they are Daisies or? now), Brownies and Girl Scouts. Good times... ��

Diana Cox said...

I went to Camp Yallani in the mid-fifties. I had great times and not so great times. There are always those few that picked on others (yes, even we had our bullies). We had great counsellors and fun activities. Too much to really write here, but it's a shame more kids don't get those opportunities. We didn't have any Camp Fire Girls when I had my girls, so they went into Mini-Scouts (I think they are Daisies or? now), Brownies and Girl Scouts. Good times... 😊

Tamara Scott said...

I went to Camp Yallani from 1980-83 and boy do I miss those days! I wish the camp was still around so that my daughter could attend. But sadly it is not... I loved the hiking, sitting around the campfire singing, swimming, crafts with Manzanita wood, archery, canoeing, oh my gosh the list goes on.. Unfortunately, I lost all my camp group pictures in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. If anyone who attended camp during that time has their pictures could you please post them so that I could print them and show my daughter? I would greatly appreciate it. Also, I have to ask because for the life of me I can not remember the camp symbol I have a patch that is white with blue stitched around it and a tree with looks like dew drops or tears around the tree but falling downwards. Does anyone know what it means? Thank you for the chance to share.. I hope to hear from anyone that went during those years. :)

Barbara Wescott said...

Camp Yallani,

Wow. My first time away from home and family. I read the comments posted and didn't find anything about the years I attended. It was actually there in l940. That was the first of my three summers attending. I remember that they changed the water in the swimming pool at the beginning of each week. We couldn't go in for the first three days 420as the pool was filled with water from a stream and was icy cold.
I especially remember the college girl counselors and the impression they made on me. What fun.

Barbara (Carr) Wescott

Jane Hara said...

In 1958 I was a seven year old Bluebird when my older sister and I went to Camp Yallani for a week. Here are memories I have to this day: Zillions of stars to see when I was falling asleep beneath towering trees with bark that smelled like vanilla....the counselors and CITs who made a huge impression on me; I wanted to be like them! ....the CIT village had a special name I've forgotten, but the entrance was so intriguing because campers weren't allowed. One really hot afternoon I wandered in anyway. I thought I was in trouble when one girl called me over. But instead of telling me to leave, she showed me around and we talked for awhile...THE SINGING! My sister and I still sing those songs, even remembering most of the words...Eating in the mess hall and singing more. I didn't like singing the prayer before eating because I didn't believe in the lord. (The lyrics: "the lord is good to me, and so I thank the lord, for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seed, the lord is good to me.") I sang everything but the word lord...Hiking to Slushy Meadows and Jenks Lake...Making crafts out of stuff we collected from the forest...Campfires and more singing. I loved that camp! It was the best time of my seven-year-old life.

Jane (Sheftel) Hara

Amy Mattison said...

I remember the pine trees near the swimming pool and crafts area, someone showed us how the trees smelled like butterscotch or vanilla when we put our noses up to the cracks in the bark! I still do that sometimes when in the mountains. Also, the pool was ice cold and we had lifesaving classes dog paddling forever and removing the heavy wet camping clothes inthe water while treading water as a test. The dining hall was huge it seemed, all wood tall ceiling and when the girls especially liked the meal we would sing cookie, cookie come out! He would appear to take a bow, yay! Peeling potatos in the kitchen, kp duty. We hiked overnight to big bear lake city and saw a movie starring troy donahue. Back to camping, we were taught to dig a latrine, these are things i have never forgotten, thankyou so much camp yallani! My mother born in 1920 also went to camp yallani. Amy mattison

Jan Hart said...

Hello Camping Sisters --
I went to next door Camp Wasewagan from age 7 until I was a counselor in 1951. So many things to remember -- walking to swim in your pool you so generously shared with us (we didn't get to build one til several years later) , the cold water, the resulting chapped places from walking while wet. Joint singing times, your director "T.P., then later, Miss Dot who moved over to
Wasewagan. The beautiful star-filled nights, the summer storms with thunder bouncing around the surrounding mountains and huge hailstones that poked holes in our dining hall roof (lots of strategically placed dishpans to catch the drips), three day pack trips to Greyback, the celestially delicious water from Thousand Springs, songs, laughter, and a few tears.
So fortunate to have such a great experience. It was wartime and families didn't vacation. I was one of several long-term campers whose parents were divorced. Stayed three weeks the first summer, five the next, then all summer in following years.
Huge treats for keeping your tent clean and winning the inspection banner: riding in the back of the camp truck to see the bears at the area dump, taking turns cranking real home made ice cream with fresh strawberries. Later - Counselor parties at Glenn Martin near Camp Angelus. Big doings. Also learned about Kahil Ghibran's The Prophet, Don Blandings poetry, and real friendship. Thanks for the memories, Wasewagan!! I'm Jan Strutt Hart

Yallani Camper 1963 said...

I had a wonderful time at Camp Yallani. I was a Camp Fire Girl in a troop over off of Firestone in South Los Angeles. One other girl, Debra went to camp with me; her mother was the troop leader. I was 10 years old. I was 1963. I loved my experience there. I came home and taught all of the songs to my younger sisters. I'm still singing those songs and when my granddaughter recently went to camp, I taught her the songs too. She couldn't wait to get back home and teach me all of the songs she learned at camp. "Camp Yallani,Camp Yallani, with the mountains going through the sky."

Galia Sprung said...

I have so many vivid memories of Camp Yallani from the 50s. I can see the Santa Ana (flowing by, of course), the latrines, climbing up what the counselors always called "Poop-out mountain" (or hill). Washing our clothes in the metal basins! No one mentioned that! And the wringer. One year one of the campers got her arm caught in it. That isn't such a good memory. The cabin/tents. Sleeping outside on the cots. And absolutely the manzanita wood crafts. I hike a lot in Israel, where I've been living since 1970, and keep looking for them! We had to write a post card home once a week. I also remember the vanilla scent from the trees, the swimming pool, where I took part in all the competitions. But I don't remember any names. Sad. Just a few of my friends from my Blue Bird group in LA. Once I missed the bus and my family raced after the bus to? Redlands? No idea! But we finally stopped it and I joined my friends. I went for at least 3 years, I'm sure. Maybe more.

Laura Fatke said...

Oh, how I remember......growing up as a Blue Bird/Camp Fire girl in Westchester, CA 90045, I attended Camp Yallani for many years in the mid 60's. Now I'm singing these songs to my granddaughter..............I never knew there was so much history behind Camp Yallani and that it still exists.......good fond memories......(smile).

Diana Cox said...

I went to Camp Yallani in the 50's several times.. I, too, don't remember any names except of my tent mates was Freddy...her name was Fredericka (sorry Freddy, I'm not sure of the spelling) She would get mad if you called her by her real name. She was a great friend unlike some of the other girls in our tent. I had taken my teddy bear as they had suggested taking something from home for comfort. Some of the girls thought it would be fun to embarrass me and took my bear to the lost and found to have it displayed after dinner in the mess hall. I was embarrassed so Freddy went up and claimed it as hers. Thank you Freddy. The next time they put my name on my duck sponge so I had to go up. Aside from these times I enjoyed camp. We went horseback riding on huge horses. We had swimming lessons and overnight camp outs. We had to write home and tell our parents what we were doing. Great memories. Good times.

The Cardboard Cobbler said...

I went to Camp Yallani for 2 summers with my Blue Bird pal Janet King. Actually we were Campfire Girls by then because in our pictures we are wearing our kerchiefs. WO- HE-LO
Work Health Love! Great memories. I still have my Bluebird ring.
Camp Fire Girl love to all!

Suzy Gottlieb
aka Phranc

Jane said...

I went to Camp Yallani every summer for ten years. It was heaven. In the wilds, under a night of stars on our cots, Indian heritage times, the bonfire at night.


The fresh air bright with the wild life of the San Bernardino mountains.
Nights were dark with the sky solidly lit with stars.

Tents were our home with rocks lining the walkways. We slept on cots under the stars. Rain took the cots into the tent jammed closely together.
Showers were none. The outhouse was a long walk away.

We lived as the Indians. There was a tepee in the camp.
We had huge bonfires at night. It was so dark that only with flashlights
could we wend our way back to our tents.

In the morning, one was there awake sleepily watching the sunlight
slowly moving down the tall, tall pine trees. Then the bugle went off.
Later the sun drenched the dirt with its warmth.

The swimming pool was filled with melted ice from the run-off
from the higher mountains was au naturel. Canoes were paddled in the pool for a learning ground. Performed was a water ballet act where diving into the water without the shower first, the shock is still with me.

A wide bubbling stream would talk to me as I sat alone on a rock
in the midst of the running waters.

We had Indian names. I am Shu Ka Wan Ye. We beaded head bands
and wore them with the pride of the Indians.

We tooled designs in leather, learned Indian dances and learned nature becoming one with it.

There was horse back riding and long hikes in the mountains.
The oneness with the wild life and the mountains. Living as Indians.
The love of Earth and total beauty of the sky will always be with me
full of its love and cherished memories.

Barbara Smith said...

I went to Camp Yallani this the same camp everyone here is talking about? I went to Van Ness Avenue School. My mom was a Blue Bird leader for a while. I remember feeling very homesick the first day at camp, sick enough to end up in the infirmary, but then getting better and having a great time. I remember camp fires and singing a song called The White Buffalo. And a big swimming pool. And making lanyards. And the best counselors...Miss Pat, Miss Linda. Will try to upload this group photo from 1958 but not sure if it will work:

Galia Sprung said...

I would love to see that picture! I was there in 58. OF course there were different sessions and I don't remember the name "Laheta" but it was Yallani and in the San Bernadino mountains. The link doesn't work.

Jane Hara said...

I went to Camp Yallani when I was 7 years old, 1958.
It was one of the best experiences of my life.

My love for ancient trees and infinite stars began there.
I remember so many details from that week in the San Bernardino Mountains, above the rapids of Santa Ana: lyrics to the songs (I still sing the songs to this day, even remembering the lyrics), the neat women and girls, hugging trees and taking in their vanilla scent, crafts we made from whatever the forest offered, jumping into Jewel Lake after a long, hot hike, campfire time and so much more!

Probably we were there at the same time, but I don't remember the names or faces of fellow campers.🌲🌲🌲

Thanks for writing!
Jane Sheftel Hara

kfreeman92 said...

What fun it was to read everyone's memories here! I was at Camp Yallani 1974-75 as a camper, 76-77 as a CIT, and 78 as a counselor. Fantastic memories! I have a sad memory of hearing the news of Elvis' death on Aug 16, 1977 while there in the dining hall...I remember being so sad, but I was in a happy peaceful place...easier to take the news. I remember my first (of many to come) backpacking trip up "Greyback". River hikes, stinging nettles, the butterscotch smell of Lodgepole Pines, cooking breakfast on tin can stoves. The campfires, songs, learning not to shine our flashlights in the trees (many many children have since gotten that lecture from me!). I loved everything about Camp Fire Girls too, and tried to give it a shot with my kids, but the program changed just too much. Anyway, it's been fun to read here!
Karla :-)

Barbara Smith said...

Galia Sprung,I couldn't figure out how to make the link live, but if you copy and paste it into your browser bar, it works. Hope you can see it...and let me know if you're in the pic. I'm in the second row from the bottom at the very end.

Search This Blog

Blog Archive