St. Francis Center and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles are teaming up for the first time to provide inner-city youth with the opportunity to attend a weeklong camping experience.“I strongly believe that collaboration between Catholic organizations is vital,” said David Fields, St. Vincent de Paul’s executive director. “The Society has the camp experience to provide and St. Francis has the children who can benefit from our program.”

Celebrating its 67th year, the Society’s Circle V Ranch Camp is a 30-acre oasis nestled in the Los Padres National Forest above Santa Barbara. Since 1945, thousands of children, ages 7-13, have enjoyed their summer vacation here, where they learn new life skills, participate in traditional camp activities and are mentored in an environment where young goals are encouraged and nurtured.  

St. Francis Center, a nonprofit serving homeless and very low-income families and individuals in downtown Los Angeles since 1972, has been sending disadvantaged youth from its surrounding community to summer camp since it was founded. 

For these children, this is their first chance to experience nature outside of the congestion of the city. Back home, most of these youth live with families in cramped, rundown, single-room apartments without a backyard or safe park to play in.  

“Our goal is to leave a lasting impression on youth by engaging them in a variety of activities that can open their eyes to new opportunities and a brighter future, and give them a stronger bond with nature and God,” said St. Francis Center’s Executive Director Jill Remelski. “Through this partnership, we hope to send more children to summer camp than we ever have in the past,” she said.

To learn more about the camp partnership, visit or 

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