Meet One Of Our Super Sponsors
We are pleased to shine the spotlight on longtime Manhattan Beach 10k sponsor Gold Arrow Camp! You may have heard of them already, as they are a popular camp, but if not read on.
Our Q & A With Audrey "Sunshine" Monke of GAC
Please tell us about Gold Arrow Camp.
Gold Arrow Camp is a children's camp on Huntington Lake in California's Sierra National Forest. Since 1933, we've provided three generations of campers with a supportive community where their lives are enriched through the friendships they form and the experiences they have at camp. Campers and staff return to Gold Arrow Camp year after year because of the feeling of tradition, community, and belonging that they experience. For many campers, their time at camp is what they look forward to all year long. The fun and the friendships that are built at GAC provide life-long childhood memories for our campers.
In this age of constant screen time, how do you get campers to unplug and interact with each other?
Unplugging and connecting face-to-face is one of our core values. We're so fortunate that our campers and staff embrace the opportunity to unplug for the time they're at camp. Even our teenage campers recognize what a gift it is to be outdoors and away from technology for a few weeks each summer. Because everyone around them (including the staff) are not on their phones, the campers quickly get used to being unplugged...and they learn to love the focus on face-to-face interactions. Many campers report that their camp friends - who they only spend a few weeks with - are their closest friends. This is likely because they have so much concentrated, face-to-face time together with no distractions. Our nightly campfire chats are a highlight of camp for our campers.
What sets you apart from other camps?
We are a super rustic, outdoorsy camp and we focus on all non-competitive, recreational activities. Our philosophy is that kids need a break from academics and competitive sports and camp is the perfect place to have fun, make friends, and grow. We have an incredibly loyal community of families with many second and third generation campers as well as over 100 five-year campers each summer.
Tell us about the green blankets.
Our campers and staff who spend five summers at Gold Arrow get a special Five-Year Blanket, embroidered with their name. These are treasured in our community. The blankets are modeled after football blankets. Our camp's founder, Manny Vezie, played football under the famous coach Knute Rockne at Notre Dame University, so our camp blankets are the color and style of the football blanket Manny had during his Notre Dame days in the 1920s.
How long have you been a sponsor of the Manhattan Beach 10k?
We know we've been participating since at least 2009, but it could have been even earlier.
Is there anything you can reveal about what you are cooking up for your expo booth this year?
We are excited to be giving out reusable grocery bags!
What do you most love about the Manhattan Beach 10k?
It's a one-of-a-kind community event that really gets people out and celebrating your amazing city. We love seeing the crowds and the energy as we run through the neighborhoods and then by the pier. It's always fun for us to see current and past staff, campers, and families who stop by our booth to say "hi" and check in with their camp family. We also love to run and have an informal running team called the GAC Runners made up of our campers, parents, staff, and alumni. We love coming out to run together proudly sporting our green GAC Runners shirts while also supporting the amazing Manhattan Beach community.