Founded in 1992, Camp Laurel, now doing business as The Laurel Foundation, has been providing programs for children, youth, and families for over 19 years. The mission of The Laurel Foundation is to provide educational and support programs to children, youth, and families affected by HIV/AIDS. The Laurel Foundation achieves these results through resident wilderness camp programs, mentorship programs, life enhancement workshop, collaborations with other AIDS organizations and various year round support programs.

All programs are run by The Laurel Foundation staff, volunteers and medical staff who work directly with the children and youth. The Laurel Foundation runs extensive background checks ( and on all staff, volunteers and medical staff to be sure we are providing the best possible care for the children and youth. Each volunteer must complete over 24 hours of training (3 days) and be certified in CPR and First Aid before volunteering with The Laurel Foundation.

Our goals and how we achieve them:

* To offer a medically and physically safe, structured environment within which children, youth and their families can test their perceived limitations. Achieved through highly trained medical and counseling staff which are Accredited by the American Camp Association Health and Safety Standards. Staff build self esteem, self worth, and self confidence in the children and youth, in addition to teaching them how to live in a cooperative environment.

* To create an atmosphere where children and youth can forget about their illness and enjoy life. Achieved through trying new activities, developing knowledge of nature, creating group unity.

* To provide a supportive environment for children, youth and their families affected by HIV/AIDS. Achieved through sharing a bond with other children and youth living with HIV/AIDS, establishing caring, nurturing relationships and learning about differences.

* To teach children and youth with HIV/AIDS sports and wilderness skills that will help to create higher self esteem. Achieved through teaching camping, sports and wilderness skills.

* To develop camper self confidence and independence. Achieved through being away from family and meeting the challenge of a new environment.

* To provide a novel and unique experience for children and youth living with HIV/AIDS. Achieved through creative programming, focusing on fun and learning.

Have questions? Contact Ari Ruiz, The Laurel Foundation’s Bilingual Outreach Coordinator, at (626) 683-0800 or

Interested in volunteering? Contact Lauren Franklin, Director of Volunteers, at

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