EPHC send students to SNJ

Alex Pfingston, 12, smiles as he enjoys a week-long summer camp at Sierra Nevada Journeys through a scholarship created by Eastern Plumas Health Care for four high-potential students from C. Roy Carmichael Elementary school. Photos submitted by Lisa Blauth

In an effort to find ways to help support the local Portola community that is both impactful and personal, Sierra Nevada Journeys, with the help of Eastern Plumas Health Care, easily found a solution: Provide full scholarships to four students from C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School to attend Summer camp at Grizzly Creek Ranch.

Four youth identified as high-potential students by the Principal Melissa Leal and Vice Principal Mary Ellen Weaver each earned a scholarship to the week-long overnight summer camp.

Campers participate in activities such as archery, kayaking, swimming, arts and crafts and Grizzly Creek Ranch’s unique challenge course.

“The health benefits of camp are immense. Children are active outdoors and eat healthy meals. They are experiencing social-emotional learning as a result of the team building activities and social interaction, we foster in our camp program. For kids, camp is a life-changing experience and the school was eager to provide opportunities like this to their high-potential students,” said Eaton Dunkelberger, CEO of Sierra Nevada Journeys.


“The opportunity to send four youth to summer camp at a beautiful location right in our own backyard, was an easy decision for us. Our mission to support health and wellness in the communities we serve, aligns with the physical and emotional benefits that come with sleep-away camps. We’re proud to be a part of this community and support sending youth to Sierra Nevada Journeys’ summer camp,” added Todd Plimpton, CEO with Eastern Plumas Health Care.

Alex Pfingston, a 12-year-old student attending sixth grade this fall is one of the scholarship recipients and just recently returned from camp.

“The best part of summer camp were my bunk mates; they can make or break a camp trip, but mine were the best. I met kids from all over including Santa Rose and Reno. I had the most fun on the alpine tower which is about five stories tall; my mom asked me if it was scary, but I thought it was a blast,” Pfingston said.

“And breakfast was the best because they had pancakes,” Pfingston added. When asked what was the worst part of camp? He response was simply, “None. It was all good.”


Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship.

Through multiple points of contact, classroom-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed.

All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement. For additional information about Sierra Nevada Journeys, visit sierranevadajourneys.org.