Our Mission

Providing opportunities for leadership development, spiritual and personal growth, environmental stewardship, lifelong friendships, fun and excitement that help individuals navigate life’s challenges and serve the broader community.

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Our Core Principles

Leadership Development

We believe that each person can positively influence our world. In helping our campers and staff to develop their leadership skills, we use the inspiring example of a young seminarian named Michael: reaching out to others, helping them and using the gifts and talents that God gave him to the best of his ability. Campers and staff alike are challenged to be “Michael-Like” at camp as well as to take this “Michael-like” spirit home with them helping to make our world more loving and life-giving.

Wilderness Stewardship

Through our Nature Program, activities and traditions campers are taught and modeled a deep respect for the outdoors. We ask campers to respect all life and avoid the unnecessary picking of leaves or killing of bugs. On their overnight they learn how to camp with the Leave-No-Trace wilderness ethic and in Central Camp they learn the names of the local trees and plants and to fall in love with their new outdoor home.

Family Groups & Working Together

Typically, seven campers and a counselor form an independent family group for the week. As a group, they plan their daily activities and learn to work in constructive and cooperative ways with others. Group games and activities emphasize supporting one another and teamwork. During Family Camp, the individual family is the primary unit.

Personal Growth & Challenge

In an atmosphere of trust and choice, campers are able to test potentials and limitations, which in turn develops self-esteem and confidence. Each person is challenged toward full, personal growth and an appreciation of individuality and the joy of sharing in community. Whether it be archery, crafts, horseback riding, hiking on mountain trails, nature and outdoor education or swimming in one of the many swimming holes along the river, campers are encouraged as much as possible, within clear safety guidelines, to make decisions and to be responsible for their successes and failures.

Our History

The origins of the majority of our programming came from Camp St. Michael, named in memory of Michael Foiles.  Camp St. Michael began in the summer of 1963 as a camping trip at Burlington Grove State Park near Weott for 20 young boys from Eureka.

The following year the program really started to develop. It was moved to four acres near Redway (directly across from the YMCA Camp Ravencliff), loaned to camp by Mr. & Mrs. F. O. Scott. The staff consisted of ten seminarians and four high school boys from St. Bernard High School. There were a total of 54 campers in two one-week sessions. The major fun events were a three-mile tube trip from camp down the river, a three-mile inflatable raft trip from Garberville to camp, plus, a hike in the woods across the river and swimming.

In 1966 the program was moved to its current location south of Leggett thanks to the generosity of Jack and Evelyn Fairhurst who owned the property. By this time the Christian community goals and norms were all set. “Michael-likeness” became the official term that captured both the camp’s lifestyle and goals, and the Ranger Award became the official standard of recognition for growth in both “Michael-likeness” and in the varied challenges of the camp program. There were five eight-day sessions, 170 campers and 28 staff members. The new site allowed an expanded and balanced camp activity program.

By far the major change in the program came in the summer of 1969 with the addition of the girls program. Then, in 1976, after thirteen years as their guests, the Fairhurst family donated forty acres in memory of their father, C. J. Fairhurst. In 2002 we added a new program: Family Camp.

In 2011, the Catholic Diocese closed Camp St. Michael and Redwood Adventure Camp, Inc was formed to continue a tradition of outdoor camping and backpacking in the north coast.  Many aspects of the former Camp’s programming were continued, including a strong connection to the example of Michael Foiles and a continuation of living the “Michael-like Spirit”.  We were fortunate enough in 2013 to move the program to the former site of Camp St. Michael along the Wild and Scenic Eel River Corridor in Mendocino County.  The name is a perfect fit for us; the redwood was already a part of Camp in so many ways. The Camp shirts always had an image of the redwood on them and the Ranger Award, an emblem of growth at Camp, is in the shape of a redwood tree. The redwood is also a beautiful symbol of nature, strength, California and longevity and a perfect setting for all the adventures of Camp!

We’ve celebrated 55 years of sharing the Michael-like Spirit with our campers and plan to celebrate many more. Our operation remains a solid, well-rounded, adventure-oriented, camp experience. The Michael-like Spirit continues to permeate every aspect of Camp life and experiential learning is still the means by which our faith and values are shared.

Our Location

Campers at Redwood Adventure Camp have the opportunity to explore hundreds of wooded mountain acres along the wild and scenic river corridor of the  Eel river near Leggett in Mendocino County, California.  The stretch of river that Camp is located on was recently dubbed a “Wild and Scenic River Corridor.”  This title provides it special sanctions and protection from the Bureau of Land Management.  Redwood Adventure Camp has special dispensation to use this amazing wilderness area.

In this environment, campers experience an adventurous, challenging and fun-filled week. They learn how to live in, understand and respect the wonders and beauty of creation.

Campers sleep on the ground under the stars, have the opportunity to cook a few meals over a camp stove and enjoy their evenings around a campfire. Our camp facilities are rustic, but do include plenty of hot water for showers, modern bathrooms and an excellent kitchen crew serving great food out of a full size commercial kitchen.  On overnight backpacking trips, our groups follow standard Leave-No-Trace wilderness ethics.

Parents and friends are encouraged to come visit our Camp during Family Camp or Open House Weekends. We are unable to allow visitors at other times.