The Summer of ’67

My Master’s degree field experience working for the Los Angeles Board of Education at their School camps at Clear Creek in the Los Angeles mountains and Point Fermin Lighthouse Marine Camp on the coast.

After completing my Masters courses and my Graduation Teaching Responsibilities at Springfield College, I headed west with my new Volkswagen 1967 Camper with my wife Jeri and two year old son Dean Mead. We had 3,000 miles to go to get to Los Angeles in early June 1967. We were to spend two weeks in the mountains at 5,000 feet above sea level at Clear Creek School camp and eight weeks as Assistant Camp Director at the Point Fermin Lighthouse Marine camp.

Each week the Point Fermin lighthouse camp which was in the middle of a public park on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean would receive 80 students from different school districts in the Los Angeles Board of Education district; Watts, Lincoln, Hollywood Hills, Anaheim and several other districts all came each week. The students all slept in large Army tents set up in the park next to a 20 foot hedge next to the lighthouse.

We took the student on tide pooling trips down the 300 foot steep cliffs, daily trips to the Cabrillo beach, once a week trip to a Harbor tour in a water taxi and camp fires at night on the Cabrillo beach. We ate our meals in the park. The food came from a local elementary school in heater stacks to keep the food warm. On the weekends we were free to explore Mexico and California.

I was selected to do the Harbor Tour which 40 students went in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. The first day I had to wing it, and eventually I got better and better in pointing out tankers vs. freighters, countries of origin, the Harbor Masters house, the Coast Guard station, marine terms, and so on.

The following pictures give an idea of how varied the activities were based on solid ecology of the sea.

Clear Creek headquarters in the Los Angeles mountains 1967
Tide pooling with Skipper Kip
The Harbor Cruise with Assistant Camp Director Pelham Mead. Dean Mead is sitting behind me. We had these tours every Wednesday.
Skipper Sputz telling a Camp Fire story on Cabrillo beach 1967
The Camp Store. Each camper was given ten dollars to spend on candy, food and t-shirts.
Camp Director Cape. Flogg talking to the college counselors as a school bus of campers arrives.
Eating outdoor on picnic tables all summer. Pel Mead on the left and wife Jeri Mead on the right, Skipper Windy next to Jeri, across the table Skipper Kip, at the end of the table on the left Capt. Flogg.
My son Dean Michael Mead, who was only two years in June 1967.
Dinner time songs for the campers.
Cabrillo beach were the Camp every day to swim and learn to surf.
Loading the Water Taxi each Wednesday. LA board of Education supervisor in the foreground.
Skipper Ginny giving the campers a pre-trip Ecology talk in our garage classroom. We had no rain facilities or showers in the camp. Fortunately, it never rained all summer.
Captain. Sharkie aka Pel Mead, and Skipper Sandy showing a shell identification chart during a tide pooling event.
The Wednesday harbor toor in a water taxi.
Skipper Reef working with a student tide pooling
Skipper Kip tide pooling
Skipper Windy at a camp fire on Cabrillo beach at night. Notice all the campers had camp hats to identify them. Long Beach harbor In the background.
Wife Jeri Mead walking away from staff unloading Camper luggage.
Camp Fire on Cabrillo beach 1967

Published by skyking119

Professor of Instructional Technology, Doctoral degree in Educational Administration from Columbia University-1993. Worked at NYU, St. Johns Univ., The College of Mount Saint Vincent, and the NY College of Osteopathic Medicine. Currently, College Tutor and published Novel writer specializing in Historical Fiction. In the works, Sister Angelina CIA Nun, The Night is a Child (a mystery story of Africa), and The Personal Diary of Anne of Cleves, 4th wife of King Henry VIII.

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