We Can’t Run This Camp Without Her

What is your full name? Kamren Melissa Field Johnson

California Summer Camp

Where were you born? Oceanside, CA

What do you do for camp? Administrative Director

How did you end up at Mt Camp? I started as a counselor in 2000.

Where do you live? Santa Cruz, CA

Favorite pastime as kid? Climbing Trees

California Summer Camp

What about now? Playing backgammon

Giants or A’s? Padres

Where do you want to go on your next vacation? Fiji

What is something people don’t know about you? I don’t drink caffeine

What is your favorite book? The Count of Monte Cristo

What can’t you go a day without? Snuggles from my 1 year old Eli

EliWhat is your favorite movie? The Princess Bride

What is your favorite meal at camp? Tacos

What do you love about camp? Making people smile

What are you great at cooking? Enchiladas

What is your favorite thing about California? The Ocean

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mountain Camp

1. The entire camp is powered by a propane generator that operates daily. We also have a backup generator.

California Summer Camp2. Ice House Reservoir typically recedes 30 – 50 feet during the summer season.California Summer Camp

3. The kitchen prepares over 1500 servings of food daily, that’s a lot of cornbread.

California Summer Camp

4. There are 3 dogs that live at camp. Rusty, Charlie, and Bo.

California Summer Camp California Summer Camp California Summer Camp

5. Our water comes from an underground well off site.

California Summer Camp

6. There are 2 babies at camp this summer! Sam and Eli.

California Summer Camp

7. Mountain Camp, Plantation Farm Camp, and Mountain Camp Woodside are all under common ownership. 

California Summer Camp Mountain Camp Logo Mountain Camp Woodside


8. Each member of the leadership team averages 14 summers of experience at Mountain Camp. 

California Summer Camp

9. We will host over 2000 campers this summer.California Summer Camp

 10. If you have a birthday at camp, the entire camp sings a custom birthday song to you at dinner. 

California Summer Camp


Who is Dave Brown? Mountain Camp Program Director

Dave Brown has been a year round program director for Mountain Camp since 2009. If you have been to camp since then, you probably know Dave for his hilarious personality and constant enthusiasm. We asked Dave some questions to learn a little bit more about him.

What is your full name?  David Nathan BrownCalifornia Summer Camp

Where were you born? San Francisco, California

Where did you attend college? Wesleyan and UC Berkley

What was your major? Sociology and Social Welfare

How did you end up at Mt Camp? I was a camper for 5 years since age 10

Where are you from? Walnut Creek

What was your favorite sport as a kid? Volleyball

What do you love right now? Being a dad

Giant’s or A’s? A’s

Where do you want to go on vacation? Nepal

What was your favorite travel experience? Solo backpacking in New Zealand

California Summer Camp

Most people don’t know that…? I’m ordained to perform weddings

What is something you can’t go a day without? Sriracha hot sauce and Music

What is your favorite book? – East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Do you have a pet?  Have you met Rusty Bear?

California Summer Camp

What is your favorite movie? The Last Waltz

What is your favorite meal at camp? Tacos

What is your cooking specialty?  Carnitas

What do you like most about camp?  The music and sunsets




That Guy You Spoke With On The Phone

Chances are you have spoken to or emailed Brett in the camp office. We asked him 20 questions so you could get to know him a little better. Can you tell he loves skiing?

Brett BotensWhat is your full name?  Brett Paul Botens

Where were you born? Rochester, NY

Where did you grow up? Cuba, NY

Favorite pastime as kid? Skiing

What do you do for camp? So much, but I handle lots of parent questions, plan activities, and train and hire staff

Where did you go to college? Selkirk College and West Virginia University

What was your major? Ski resort management and operations, and parks, recreation, and tourism management

How did you end up at Mountain Camp? A good friend convinced me to apply as a counselor many years ago

Brett Botens

Giants or A’s? A’s

Where will you go on your next vacation? Niseko, Japan

Do you have a hidden talent? I can juggle

Most people don’t know this about you? I’m gluten free

What can’t you go a day without? Thinking about skiing

In 20 years you’ll be? Living on the moon

What is your favorite movie? The Goonies

Brett Botens

Iphone or Android? Iphone

If you could solve any global problem, what would it be? I would end war

What is your favorite thing about California? Snow and waves

Why you like camp?  There is no place on earth like Mountain Camp, plus the food is awesome

What advice do you have for first time campers? Try everything you can, get up on stage, be loud at meals, and have fun

How Do We Gear Up for Summer?

The only thing we DON’T pack up for the winter? The bell.

Sierra Mountain winters are hard on camp, so we pack and secure everything at the end of each season. We call it ‘pack-up’ and it can be completed in as little as three days in September, putting everything back together is a bit of a different process. Set-up begins in mid May each year. Here is how we make it happen.

Mountain Camp Winter

The set up crew begins by un-boarding the windows of all camp structures. Once inside they can unpack pretty much every item used in the summer. Here are some things that have to be removed from inside buildings…

– Nearly 300 mattresses

– 4 Laser sailboats

– 9 Frisbee golf stands

– Over 30 folding picnic tables

– 25 kayaks and 20 stand up paddle boards

Mountain Camp Waterfront

The waterfront requires some serious assembly. Everything has to be inflated and connected. The swim area is anchored to the bottom of the lake with cement moorings, which also need to be carefully placed by brave waterfront staff members willing to test the frigid water. Sailboats are rigged and positioned on the shoreline, and powerboats are serviced and placed just offshore. The whole process takes about 30 truck trips between camp and the waterfront area.

Mountain Camp Ropes

Some might consider our focus on safety an obsession. Before camp begins…

– Ropes professionals inspect and improve the ropes course for 3 full days

– Sailboat rigging is inspected and repaired as needed

– All mattresses and cabins are sanitized

– The camp infirmary is cleaned, stocked, and prepped

– Forestry crews inspect and remove any unsafe trees or debris

– Fire prevention systems are tested and inspected (yes, we have hoses!)

– Our satellite communications system is reconnected and tested

Mountain Camp Staff

Perhaps our most important asset is our counseling staff. New and returning staff members complete an 8 day training program that covers everything from homesickness to fire safety. Staff members also learn about instructing summer skits and activities.

See you in June, we’ll be ready.