Families from all over gathered around the campfire at Tuesday night to sing songs, roast s’mores and learn about nature. This is the second to last such event of the summer.
Judy Perez Soto, an interpretive naturalist for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, said that the program has been ongoing for five years and continues to grow each summer.
“We’ve had record turnouts this summer, weeks where over 100 people have come,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of familiar faces here, a lot of families that have come and returned, which is great. We have kids that didn’t know each other at the beginning of the summer who have now become friends from this.”
Deborah Goldberg, a repeat camper, came with her husband and twin children, Kiki and Sam Cohen.
“We love it, we like the community feel and love toasting the marshmallows,” she said, as her children played nearby with other kids. “The kids really like singing the songs.”
It was the Rankin family’s first time coming, but Andrew Rankin said it would not be their last.
“[My wife] found out about it through a Google search. We’ve driven past this place before but never actually been inside,” Rankin said. “You don’t see that many campfires in California because of the danger of forest fires, so this is kind of unique.”
Four university students from Korea on a cultural learning program with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority were also in attendance.
“We’re here learning about forestry,” said Ji Yoon, one of the students. “We’re here for about two months. We’re working, but we also are going to the beach, Hollywood.”
As the students assisted participants by putting marshmallows on the iron rods for roasting, Ji Yoon said that, though she wasn't familiar with the campfire songs, not all of the cultural experiences of the night were new to him.
“We have s’mores in Korea too,” she said with a smile.
The last family campfire is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 21, at 7 p.m. For more information on the King Gillette campfires click here.
Have you attended one of the King Gillete campfires this summer? Let us know your favorite memories from the event in the comments!