Marin summer camp

Bicycles Change Lives (2)

john.png

We came across this awesome, inspiring video yesterday about the East Side Riders Bike Club, "a volunteer organization in South Central Los Angeles with a mission to improve Watts through community service, charity work, and bike programs aimed at keeping local youth out of gang activity."

This all-volunteer, grassroots group teaches kids how to bike safely, provides helmets, teaches bike repair, and leads weekly rides. Please take a minute to watch the video, and show it to your kids. Their Facebook page is full of videos of their Friday night rides, bike repair classes and more. Consider a donation or purchasing some of their cool swag to support their critical work. 

Bicycles Change Lives

GBP-WBR-Zambia2014-1243-768x511.jpg

World Bicycle Relief is an organization which supports folks in the developing world through the transformative power of the bicycle. Click here to read more about them, and to watch the moving video about Tamara, a 12-year-old orphan who received a bicycle so she could complete her education. Consider a donation by clicking the red button at the top of their homepage. 

Win 1 Week of Camp + Support Kids

We are proud to be YES Business Partners and donors to the online auction again this year (in addition to the 4 weeks of camp we have donated elsewhere this year).

YES supports funding for arts programming (among other things) in the Ross Valley School District, which we are proud to stand behind. We believe art, music and PE are critical aspects of education for all children.

Go here to bid on your child's week of camp.

International High School Mountain Bikers

FXCC campers and counselors on the trail.

FXCC campers and counselors on the trail.

Check out this heart warming story about a boys' high school mountain bike team whose members were all born overseas. These boys have very few advantages, but have built their own bikes and are learning to ride, race and have fun as part of a team. 

Satchel's Humboldt MTB Film

We were delighted to watch former FXCC counselor Satchel Cronk's video over on Pink Bike's site yesterday (click here). He did a great job on our video, and it looks like his film skills are only getting better. Added bonus? We've got some roots up in Humboldt, running and mountain biking on those same trails. It was fun to see them featured in all of their muddy, drippy goodness.

How to make the roads safer for bikes

Fairfax Festival Parade 2015

Fairfax Festival Parade 2015

If you're like us, and ride at all on the roads, you've had more than your fair share of close calls with cars who are out to teach you a lesson, or just not paying attention. This is so very scary, and reminds us that, in addition to getting more kids on bikes and getting safer bike lanes built, we need to change the way drivers think about cyclists. 
We came across this blog today, and think it sounds like a great strategy to get drivers on board with driving safely around cyclists. What do you think?

Mythology storytelling festival

Photo by James Cacciatore.

Photo by James Cacciatore.

We are filling up as summer draws nearer, so if you're still on the fence, here are a few things to consider while you're making summer plans. One of the things which sets us apart from other camps, is that we are owned and run by local school teachers. Though we're not about to add a mythology storytelling festival to camp, we thought some of you (who aren't familiar with Manor School) might be interested to see what our owner and founder does for a day job!Here's a link to a great write-up of what goes on in Mr. Brown's class during the school year. 
This got us thinking, maybe we should expand Crazy Outfit Friday to include coming as your favorite figure from mythology? What do you say? Rest assured, our campers get the benefit of the thoughtful attention of educators who plan and run each day, start to finish. And if you haven't seen it yet, check out our video about a day at camp here.

Check out the film "Screenagers"

Have you seen the new film, Screenagers? It was produced by two local moms, and takes on the proliferation of screens in our children's lives, which has happened so quickly, many of us parents have been uncertain how to handle it. The film is thought provoking and good for parents and kids alike. Among the suggestions in the film is to start a weekly "Tech Talk Tuesday,"  to talk about screen usage as a family every Tuesday at dinner. Parents are also encouraged to self reflect and honestly share their own struggles with screen usage. Anything that gets kids and parents thinking and talking together more is a good thing! Check the schedule here

Last summer, JJ coined the term, "XBox Detox" to sum up part of what we do at camp. Phones are in pockets at camp, and our campers are on their bikes, playing games, and otherwise spending time face to face with nature and others. Consider giving your child the gift of a week of good old fashioned summer fun at Fairfax Cycling Camp - it's good for body, mind and heart!

Tips for Biking Safely with Your Child

The following blog originally appeared in MarinMommies.com

Heading out for a fun day of camp!

Heading out for a fun day of camp!

From cargo bikes laden with young children, to parents and kids on their own bikes, the popularity of biking is growing in Marin and nationwide. This is something to  celebrate! The health benefits of biking are numerous, and consuming less gas gives the earth a little extra breathing room. As cyclists and owners of Fairfax Cycling Camp, we are happy to share some tips and resources to help you bike more safely with your child. We teach our campers these skills every week during our summer mountain bike camp. 

Helmets, Helmets, Helmets!

Helmets are required by law for all children under 16 in California. Helmets protect your child’s developing brain from trauma which could come from even a seemingly small bump.

Just like on an airplane when you are told to secure your own oxygen mask prior to helping another, make sure your helmet is on properly before biking with your child. This does two things; first, you are protecting your brain and doing your best to make sure you’ll be around to take care of your child in the event of an accident; second, you are modeling appropriate behavior for your child. Research consistently shows that children learn by watching what the adults around them are doing. You are setting an example for your child, one that you hope they will follow long after they’ve begun riding on their own.

Please, wear your helmet, and make sure your child does too. 

Check out our blog to see a great photo showing how to properly fit a helmet. Also, watch this fun video with your child, brought to you by the Province of Manitoba.

General Tips

Talk with your child about the rules of the road before you ride, and make sure they stop at all stop signs looking both ways, staying on the right side of the road.
When riding with your little one, have them ride in front of you. That way, you can keep an eye on them to see how they are riding and what they need help with. 
Scan ahead and look for obstacles asking your child, “Ok, what do you see?” Or, “Do you see that there is a driver in that parked car?” 
Avoid “the door zone” by leaving enough room between you and any parked car, as the door may swing open without warning. 
Pick a line. Safe cyclists pick a relatively straight line and try to stick to it. This makes the rider more predictable for cars and other cyclists.
Get that bike tuned up! Kids have been known to crash due to their bike not being properly maintained. Bikes have lots of moving parts which need regular maintenance!
Check out Marin County Bike Coalition’s Safe Routes to Schools Program for more information on biking safely with your child/ren!

Announcing the launch of our Mentorship Program!

A crew of mentors teaching campers.

A crew of mentors teaching campers.

At FXCC, we understand that healthy connections are critical for children (and adults!) to safely learn, grow, and develop self-esteem - this is true in the classroom, and on the bike. This year, all of our Counselors will get more training and guidance via our Mentorship Program. 

When our regular campers reach high school, they are given the opportunity to become counselors, and our community grows bigger and stronger. We select our Counselors because of the innate capacities they have, and enhance those through sharing our years of expertise working with children in a variety of educational, athletic, and therapeutic settings. Because we value our Counselors, we are making a greater commitment to provide them with training which will serve them throughout their academic and vocational careers. 

Graduates of our Mentorship Program gain experience with:  

  • Responsibly caring for groups of children
  • Safety & First Aid  
  • Understanding and managing group dynamics (we teach specific techniques)
  • Social/Emotional Development
  • Building Curriculum
  • Successfully managing a variety of personalities and abilities

We get to know our Counselors pretty well over the course of their participation and happily draft recommendation letters for all participants to use as they enter college and the workforce. Please email us if you have additional questions.