This #GivingTuesday, Give the Gift of Camp Magic...

During this upcoming holiday season, we have the opportunity to take time out of our busy lives to gather, reflect, and give thanks.  For folks who have been fortunate enough to experience a summer (or every summer of their youth) at Camp Jack Hazard, it is very likely that some of their fondest memories took place in a secluded spot off Highway 108 amidst towering fir trees and jagged mountain peaks. 

Camp remains one of the few places in the world where true magic exists.  Unlike other childhood experiences that seemed to have lost their mystique over time, camp’s magic never faded. In contrast, it actually seemed to grow as people returned year after year to climb mountain peaks, sing campfire songs, and form lifelong friendships. When people inevitably grew too old to return, the camp spirit forever remained a part of them. It continues to connect everyone who has ever slept under the stars, heard the roar of a camp chant in the dining hall, or shed a tear as they stood in a candlelit circle with their fellow campers during closing campfire.  Camp will forever remain our sugar mountain.

For many children, Camp Jack Hazard was the highlight of their summer.  For others, camp was one of the highlights of their life.  This was especially true for children with less than ideal living situations, as well as those from loving households who simply could not afford to take regular family vacations.  Many former campers reported that the opportunity to escape everyday life and spend their summers in the mountains forever transformed them (and in some cases, actually saved their lives). Camp was a place where their background did not matter, where they were welcomed into the camp family with open arms, and where they were taught the value of human relationships. They were encouraged to reflect on their experiences, set meaningful personal challenges, and stretch the limits of their mind, body, and spirit.  Camp taught them to act with intention and to respect themselves, others, and their surroundings when making big (and little) decisions.  These life-changing opportunities were often only possible because of the generous donations of camp alumni and other stakeholders, who were committed to ensuring that every child had the opportunity to experience camp’s magic. This holiday season, you have the opportunity to give this gift. 

On November 29th, 2016, the Jack & Buena Foundation is participating in #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving back to our favorite and most important non-profits and charities! It is important for us to remember during these months of thankfulness and generosity to remember and celebrate the organizations that have helped shape our lives. We invite you to give this November 29th to share the gift of Camp Jack Hazard and ensure that we have the funds needed to send EVERY kid that wants to have the magical experience of camp. Remember your donation will change a very special child's summer and maybe even their life!

How can you give?

You can give at the following web address via PayPal:

You can mail a donation to us at:
P.O. Box 3290 Modesto, CA 95353

You can also visit us in person and drop off your donation at our new office:

1050 North Carpenter St, Suite E2
Modesto, California, 95351

#GivingTuesday #campjackhazard


5th Annual Camp Jack Hazard Benefit Concert

The Jack and Buena Foundation, in their second year of partnership with iHeart Media and B93, is excited to announce our Spring Fling, featuring Daughtry, with special guest Daya. Opening the evening’s performance is the Valley’s own, Josh Rosenblum. For the fifth year in a row, The Jack and Buena Foundation is hosting this fundraising event to provide fun, safe adventures for kids age 6 to 16 at Camp Jack Hazard, located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Event info:

5th Annual Camp Jack Hazard Benefit Concert and Spring Fling featuring Daughtry with special guests Daya and Josh Rosenblum

Gallo Center for the Arts

Friday, March 25th at 7p.m.

General admission tickets are $35 and $70

VIP Ticket plus Reception at 5:30 p.m. is $125


In the course of only five years, Chris Daughtry, a finalist on the fifth season of American Idol, has had more than his share of career highlights. The singer, songwriter, and musician from North Carolina has released back-to-back No. 1 albums: the 4x-platinum DAUGHTRY (which became the fastest-selling rock debut in Soundscan history) and 2009’s platinum Leave This Town. DAUGHTRY has scored four No. 1 Top 40 hits (“It’s Not Over,” “Home,” “Feels Like Tonight,” and “No Surprise”), earned four Grammy Award nominations (including “Best Rock Album” for DAUGHTRY), won four American Music Awards, and brought their electrifying live show to all corners of the world. A greatest hits album, It’s Not Over…The Hits So Far, was released on February 12, 2016, with singles from their studio albums and two new songs. On January 29, 2016, “Torches” was released as the lead single.


Daya [pronunciation “dey-uh”] drives pop music down a different path. This Certified Platinum Artist has been smashing the charts with her debut song “Hide Away”. Perhaps it’s a result of her classical piano training, the fact that her multi-ethnicity has been the catalyst for family visits across the globe, or her natural cleverness that’s as striking as her dynamic vocal range. It could just be due to the fact that this 16 year old singer and songwriter has always known what she wanted to do.

Josh Rosenblum

Josh Rosenblum is a singer-songwriter that hails from Modesto, CA. Josh has been playing music all over the state for almost 10 years, both solo and accompanied by his band, ‘Josh Rosenblum Band’. Josh and his band have received multiple awards for their songwriting and musicianship including winning the ‘Next Big Thing’ tour in San Francisco, the first ‘Valley’s Got Talent’ band category, and two Modesto Area Music Awards for ‘Best Pop/Rock’ in 2012 and 2015. Josh recently completed and released a full length album with his band that is currently available through his website, but will soon be available in every online market; iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc.

Listen to Camp Jack Hazard's Executive Director on the Valley View!

Listen to Executive Director, Jason Poisson, speak on the Valley View which played on 6 iHeart Radio Stations throughout the Central Valley. IHeart Media and Camp Jack Hazard are partners working together to help raise awareness about the Camp Jack Hazard program and all the great activities it provides to the Central Valley and beyond.

4th Annual Camp Jack Hazard Benefit Concert

The New B93 and The Jack and Buena Foundation are proud to announce “Spring Fling”, starring Lifehouse and Neil Buettner. This is the 4th Annual Camp Jack Hazard Benefit Concert and fundraising event that helps the Jack and Buena Foundation to provide summer camping experiences to hundreds Central Valley youth at Camp Jack Hazard. Camp Jack Hazard is celebrating 91 years of providing safe, fun, character-based activities during the valley’s long hot summers. This year, the Jack and Buena Foundation is partnering with iHeart Media and local radio station B93 to help make this event a fantastic evening of music and celebration.

Event info:

4th Annual Camp Jack Hazard Benefit featuring Lifehouse and Neil Buettner
Friday, April 10th at 7 p.m. (Tickets are $55 and $35)
VIP reception at 5:30 p.m. ($100 dollar tickets include reception)
Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I Street, Modesto


After a “much needed break”, Lifehouse is back and preparing for the release of their 7th album “Out of the Wasteland” in May of 2015. Lifehouse is taking a quick break from their busy schedule and will be sharing their music for this event.

Neil Buettner:

As a Modesto native and Camp Jack Hazard alumni, Neil will be playing his original acoustic music for this event and hopefully playing a couple of Camp Jack Hazard favorites.

Neil Buettner is a full-time, working musician based out of Northern California. He has performed thousands of shows throughout the Central Valley and throughout the Northwest over the past 15 years: from weekly residencies at local clubs, to weddings and a myriad of other private and public engagements. Neil’s fan base continues to grow and encompasses every generation from young to old. He takes pride in putting his all into each performance and takes great pride in meeting and exceeding his clients’ expectations.

He has made his name as a solo performer providing soulful ambience and also regularly performs with dynamic drummer, Matt Harrington, whose versatile approach blends all genres from rock, jazz and other unique percussive elements.

Neil’s ability to customize his set, arrangement and performance to fit each diverse audience and event has allowed him to become one of the busiest working musicians in the area, performing in excess of 300 shows per year. He also released an EP of original music in 2008, entitled, “Underneath a Painted Sky”, which is available on iTunes, and is currently recording a second EP to be released later this year. Stay tuned!

About The Jack and Buena Foundation:

The primary goal of The Jack and Buena Foundation is to ensure that Camp Jack Hazard continues providing life-changing experiences to Central Valley youths for years to come. In 2014, the foundation sent 78 youth to camp on partial or full scholarships. In 2015 it is projected to send more than 100 youth to camp.

Celebrating 91 Years of CJH at the McHenry Museum

Are you interested in coming down to the McHenry Museum and looking at Camp Jack Hazard over the last 70 years? Looking for an opportunity to potentially meet up with old Camp Jack Hazard friends? On Saturday March 7th, 2015, the Jack and Buena Foundation will be hosting a free evening event to kick off a two-month exhibit featuring our favorite Camp Jack Hazard and its long history here in Stanislaus County.  Three city council members will be there and many camp alumni to visit and reconnect to Camp Jack Hazard. We hope to see you all downtown at 5:00 p.m. 

Camp Jack Hazard 90 years!

(From the Stansilaus Region Contentment Health online magazine)

Camp Jack Hazard Celebrates 90 Years of Wilderness Adventure

by Dana Koster

If you grew up in Stanislaus County and you’re between the ages of 6 and 96, chances are you went to Camp Jack Hazard, or know someone who did. Surrounded by a dense forest of conifer pines and soaring granite cliff faces, deep in the heart of the high Sierra Nevada, the camp has been transporting valley-bound Stanislaus County youth to the magic of the mountains for 90 years.

You’d be hard-pressed to find any group as enthusiastic and dedicated to its roots as Camp Jack Hazard alumni. For many area adults, those summers spent in the mountains just outside Dardanelles, California, were transformative. They were days spent hiking in the backcountry with the smell of pine needles thick in the air. They were nights spent sleeping in bunk beds inside small green cabins, where outside—away from the light pollution of the Central Valley—the stars shone so bright and numerous that they crowded the sky.

Jason Poisson, Executive Director of Camp Jack Hazard and of the Jack and Buena Foundation, which took over control of the camp when the YMCA of Stanislaus County closed in 2009, counts himself among those forever changed by his early camp experience. “I started in 1992, and as I walked into the lower area of the camp, I had the sensation of coming home,” Poisson says. “I never left after that. I met my wife there. Everything I’ve done has been because of that place.”

Poisson is not alone in his experience. In fact, it seems like everyone you talk to about Camp Jack Hazard has a similar story. Desiree Sylvia, a former camper and assistant counselor who now has three children of her own, echoes this idea of coming home and life-changing experiences. “It infects your heart,” Sylvia says.

Camp Jack Hazard campers
Camp Jack Hazard group picture

“It is a place of pure magic, endless beauty and time stopping grace. I wish I could share this place with the world.”

Part of this formula for building confidence involves a three-day backpacking experience in the high Sierra. “Quite literally, the closest you are to camp when you’re out in backcountry is about 6 miles. You can’t just turn around and go back,” Poisson says. “I think that helps people later in life when they interact with things like college and pressure from the business world.”Poisson isn’t sure exactly why Camp Jack Hazard has such a huge effect on people’s lives, but he has some theories. “For many of the youth, it’s the first time away from their parents,” he explains. “It teaches them that they can be self-sufficient. It pushes their limits.”

It has more immediate effects, as well. As Executive Director, Poisson often has parents calling and writing to tell him how different their teens are after their summer at camp, how much more responsible and grown-up. “Parents come to me and say all of a sudden their kid is doing dishes at the end of the night, and I’m like, yeah—because she only has to do dishes for four people,” says Poisson, laughing. “It’s not like at camp, where she’s doing dishes for 180 people! When parents realize that, it really changes their perspective.”

The camp’s astonishing longevity—it was founded in 1924 by Jack Hazard, a local Stanislaus County musician who used to transport area youth to camping trips in the mountains on the back of a flatbed truck—is due in large part to this spirit of self-sufficiency and community-building. Following in the footsteps of the YMCA, which ran Camp Jack Hazard for 60 years, the Jack and Buena Foundation focuses heavily on character education, teaching its campers the tenets of honesty, respect, caring and responsibility in addition to the obligatory campfires, acoustic guitar music and camp songs. 

“This is the time in kids’ lives where they’re creating their moral center,” says Poisson. “They’re identifying what their character is going to become, so we have to have organizations that help guide that experience. Otherwise, they’re going to find that center somewhere they shouldn’t.” 

If you attended Camp Jack Hazard and are interested in joining its alumni association or would like more information on how to sign your children up for a traditional summer camp experience, visit or call (209) 965-7254.