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 www.campjackhazard.org or call (209) 965-7254.