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Camp Mendocino is owned and operated by Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF), a San Francisco institution dedicated to the youth who need us most since 1891. BGCSF is a nationally recognized leader in youth development.


In 1931, San Francisco Boys Club leased 250 acres from the Union Lumber Company in Mendocino County in order to offer a camping experience to kids from San Francisco. The Club named the 250 acres Camp Marwedel after C.W. Marwedel, the Boys Club Board President and driving force behind the program.


The Club purchased this land and nearly 1,000 additional acres from the Union Lumber Company in 1941. The funds were raised from George Whitney, the owner of Playland at the Beach and other members of the San Francisco Rotary Club and the Board of the Boys Club. Over the years additional acres have been donated or purchased. Today the Camp sits on nearly 2,000 acres, all dedicated to the character and leadership development of kids from disadvantaged circumstances.

Camp Mendocino Historical Photo



250 acres of land in Mendocino County are leased by the San Francisco Boy's Club from the Union Lumber Company. This land became Camp Marwedel, with 722 boys attending the inaugural summer.

SF Boy's Club purchased Camp Marwedel property, plus 100 surrounding acres. 


Former Club members, Bud Karp, Gino Westcott and Leroy Sims, approached Les Andersen, the Club's Executive Director, with the idea of forming a group of volunteer tradesmen dedicated to maintaining and developing the Camp Mendocino facility. The group took on the name "the Purple Kumquats" and launched in 1965—the leadership formed a cohesive group of 25 members who tackled comprehensive design and construction projects. The “Kumquats” or “PKs” remain an organized volunteer group comprised mostly of former Camp Mendocino campers who donate their time, skills, and resources to the ongoing maintenance, development, and beautification of Camp Mendocino. Camp Mendocino owes its top-notch buildings and infrastructure to the generosity of the Purple Kumquats over the past 50 years.

Purple Kumquats
purple kumquat projects
  • Fishing program in 1966

  • Design and construction of the Maintenance Complex

  • Design and construction of the Power Generation Facility

  • Design and construction of all underground utilities, including electrical, water and gas lines

  • Design and construction of Kitchen Facility, including Refrigeration System

  • Construction of the Laundry Facility

  • Construction of the Purple Kumquat Lodge

  • Construction of Dr. Callander Lodge

  • Construction of the Bridge over the Noyo River

  • Re-construction of the swinging bridge over the Noyo River

  • Construction of the Les Andersen Dining Hall Extension

  • Re-construction of the Amphitheater

  • Construction of the Craft Shop Facility

  • Construction of the Train Shack Facility

  • Design and construction of outdoor lighting system

  • Design and construction of the water storage system

  • Construction of the water filter system

  • Construction of the new jungle gym

  • Construction of the baseball field

  • Installation of a two new 70kw generators

  • Construction of the Discovery Center

  • Renovation of 9 bathrooms in the PK lodge

  • Building of the new Arts & Crafts arbor

  • Building of the new front gate

  • Building of the teepee decks for the youngest female campers

  • Building of the new bike building

  • Overhaul of generator building

  • Renovation of the maintenance house (Doll House)

  • Rebuilding of the amphitheater stage wall

  • Renovation of the Camp Office

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