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Fresno’s 55th Annual ‘Camping in the Sierras’ Held in San Luis Obispo

The Fresno Betsuin’s “Camping in the Sierras” celebrated its 55th year and returned to the San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple, which offered a cool respite from the 100-degree temperatures in the Central Valley.


The 11 campers experienced a couple of events for the first time in the history of “Camping in the Sierras,” which was held from July 29 to Aug. 2. On Aug. 1, the campers had a trip to downtown San Luis Obispo to enjoy lunch, shop and hang out together.


In addition, the campers participated in a cornhole tournament and were teamed with a counselor partner for a single-elimination tournament. Thanks go to counselor Matthew Miyake, who provided the cornhole equipment. And congratulations to the winners, Blake Morikawa and Kasey Justesen.


And there was another first — the kitchen Toban finished cleaning up in under 30 minutes after each meal. Bravo to Toban leaders Makayla Kubo, Blake Morikawa, Ellen Sano, and Tomoya Ryan.


At the request of our campers, more activities were added to the daily schedule. Special thanks go to the activity chairs, Kristi Yamamoto and Gillian Yamagiwa, for their clever and entertaining TV game show activities like “$100,000 Pyramid” and “Generation Gap.”


On July 31, the campers had fun at the beach with a water bucket toss competition. Every camper made a friendship bracelet and did the craft of rock painting.


“Our 2023 camp group felt like a large family enjoying vacation time together,” said Gregg Sera, Janis Nakamoto Sera and Debbie Suda, the Camping in the Sierras directors, in a statement. “Having a smaller group offered the campers and counselors more opportunities to get to know each other better. We appreciate everyone who supported our steak dinner fundraiser and those who helped throughout the year. Our dedicated counselors worked hard to ensure we had a successful 55th year of camp.”


The directors noted the contributions of the counselor staff of Kasey Justesen, Devin Kubota, Chris Kuramoto, Matthew Miyake, Garrett Sano, Michael Sera, Michael Suda, Gillian Yamagiwa, Kristi Yamamoto, and Michael Yebisu.


“We are grateful for everyone’s efforts to make this memorable week happen once again,” the directors said. “We hope to see all eligible campers next year.”


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