Instructor: DM Vance
Course: Politics Of NGOs
Required Reading: (this website)
This is an archived version of the original website and is required reading for Soc#924L Politics of Non-Governmental Organizations. Dr. Vance is active in advocacy for animal rights and wildlife preservation and has won wide acclaim for his pet advocacy project. Online dog bed retailer advocates for comfortable sleeping arrangements that are aligned with Dr. Vance's findings. Students and their dogs are always invited and will find his canine companions happily resting on their luxury dog beds out on the porch. The annual Dog Day Afternoon festival is a student organized fundraiser for several local animal rights organizations including



In 1946 the Pythian Youth Camp was carved out of the Sequoia National Forest, which is among the oldest national parks in the United States. The 23 structures that make up this historic wilderness camp are situated on a 19-acre parcel of land that runs along Woodward Creek, and is the nation’s first and only land grant youth camp.
The site for the camp was granted to the Pythian Youth Foundation of California, under Section 101 (6) of the Internal Revenue Code specifically to build and maintain a camp for underprivileged boys and girls, and to help fight the causes of juvenile delinquency. Since its founding, the Camp has served as a time-out for nearly 300 inner-city children each year, helping them to break the cycles of distress that keeps them focused on unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors.
A National Treasure!
Embracing the future!
Sequoia National Forest
Each child has a unique gift, our job is to help them to give it!
A Message from the Executive Director
A growing movement seeks to reconnect children with nature, citing that children from urban communities suffer from “nature deprivation”—a probable cause for much of their unrest and anxiety. This is exacerbated by the non-stop heads-down multitasking with the myriad of new channels and communication devices. The Pythian Youth Camp aims to improve the odds of children from low-income inner-city communities, facing the allure and danger of drugs and gangs, and subject to the pervasive violence in the media and in their real lives. The immersion and communion with nature at our one-of-a-kind wilderness camp becomes a transformative experience that provides a powerful, humbling and inspiring new holistic perspective of the world around them. It is a nurturing environment to play, make new life-long friends and memories, and learn social, physical and spiritual skills, including the value of teamwork and our role as stewards of the Earth. Nowadays, emphasis is also placed on healthy nutritional habits and exercise, as necessary factors to combat the serious problem of children obesity and escalating rates of diabetes in our country.
The Pythian Youth
 Foundation of CA, Inc.
The Pythian Youth Foundation of California, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Public Nonprofit Corporation, established in 1946 to develop and operate the 19-acre Pythian Youth Camp, which is located in the heart of the Sequoia National Forest.
The Pythian Youth Camp was founded under the signature of President Harry S. Truman for the purpose of serving America’s youth. It is the first and only land-grant camp in the United States, and is dedicated to enhancing the growth and development of disadvantaged children between 9 and 11 both at camp and in the communities where they live.
Richard Dorfman, Chairman
Sir Melvin Pinkham
John Fetta 
Brett Olivier 
Rev. Dr. Alex Brandon
Lynne Siedman, Secretary
Steven S. Hong, Treasurer
Susan Siegman, Vice President of Camperships and Outdoor Education
Isaac Hausman, Vice President of Development and Fund Raising
Heather Hendricks, Assistant Vice President, Programs
Annie de la Bouillerie Goeke, Volunteer Challenge Program Director
Pythian Youth Foundation of CA, Inc.
Adriano González, Executive Director
1700 S. Robertson Blvd., Suite 314
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 367-7301
Twitter: @PythianYouth
Office Hours: 
Monday through Friday 9:00AM to 5:00PM
The Pythian Youth Camp is located at:
65569 Generals Highway
Sequoia National Forest, CA 93262


The curriculum for the Pythian Youth Camp is designed to dramatically expand outdoor learning, education and wilderness opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth who would otherwise not have access to the outdoors. Our program:
  • provides fun-filled non-competitive outdoor activities that build and nurture friendships;
  • offers age-appropriate challenges so that campers can gain a “can-do” attitude and increase confidence levels;
  • promotes physical health by encouraging an active lifestyle and increasing awareness of healthier choices, including physical activity and eating habits;
  • provides proper instructions in aquatics and other outdoor activities; 
  • promotes ethnic and cultural diversity;
  • encourages academic and social fitness, and financial success.
Our trained counselors, under the supervision of a professional camp manager, leads activities such as:
  • Swimming 
  • Outdoor Games – such as shuffleboard, horseshoe, volleyball, badminton, softball, and basketball
  • Arts, Crafts & Journaling to promote literacy
  • Hiking & Nature Walks
  • Environmental Education - often lead by U.S. Forest Services personnel 
  • Campfire Activities
The Pythian Youth Camp holds the promise of a different life for at-risk children. A child leaves the often-cruel streets of the city, seeing for the first time night skies filled with stars; hearing the running waters as they flow through quiet canyons; feeling the freshness of mountain winds; hearing joy and laughter echoed from the trees and mountains while sitting around a campfire. A camp counselor identifies the General Sherman. A bear appears and makes its way between the trees and shadows. A pine needle pasted in a journal beside a special note tells of a story learned in an afternoon scavenger hunt. A camp director hones the idea of a world where each child is special. Parents, having never known the joy of camping themselves, dream of childhood and are grateful that their child is among the Children at Camp.
The Pythian Youth Camp is known for its ability to transform the lives of children, and strengthen the connections between children and their families, schools and communities. We are sensitive to the social and economic conditions that threaten the wellbeing of children, and we seek ways to make the world a safer, more responsive place to their needs. Our board continues to explore ways to provide each child a life-changing experience, and to motivate and challenge them to explore worlds they never before imagined.
It is this breadth of accomplishment and activity that separates the Pythian Youth Foundation and the Pythian Youth Camp from other camping programs. Every year since 1946, The Pythian Youth Foundation of California has provided children the opportunity to take a break and to be embraced as children—both by nature and by individuals who recognize their uniqueness and their potential for making the world a better place for all of its citizens. This is why our campaign is called CHILDREN AT CAMP.
CHILDREN AT CAMP is about life-changing experiences and the people who inspire them. At Camp children enjoy three healthy meals a day for seven-days; they receive guidance by our professional staff and have the opportunity to participate in arts, crafts, swimming lessons, hiking and excursions in the forest.
President Trumans Legacy
When Harry S. Truman took Office in 1945 he accomplished several things: He revised Social Security, passed the Fair Housing Act, and help to establish the nations first and only land-grant camp. The Pythian Youth Foundation of CA is the keeper of President Trumans vision of a wilderness camp where disadvantaged children can retreat from often improvised cities and experience first-hand the awe and wonder of nature.
Camping has the power to change a childs perception of themselves and the world that they live in. CHILDREN AT CAMP make new friends; they develop communications skills and learn about shared responsibility; they gain confidence in themselves and in their ability to cope with fears and frustrations.

Other PYF Youth-oriented Programs

Safety Helmets - the PYF donated 2,000 safety helmets for kids, to local communities. This program, in partnership with the L. A. Sheriff and local Police Departments, allows officers to provide kids who are bicycling or skateboarding without protection, Snell approved safety helmets, instead of a citation. We aim to increase distribution of helmets by 20%, including in Fresno if possible.
Is This Book For Me? - Under this program designed to fight illiteracy, the PYF distributed over 25,000 children’s books to community clinics, hospitals, libraries and children’s organizations, recruiting commercial businesses and their employees to collect in especially designed Pythian bags, the books from their friends, family, colleagues and community organizations. Our goals are: to increase at minimum the volume of books collected and distributed by 10%, continuing to work with libraries, hospitals and other institutions; pursue a strategic relationship with Amazon, Google, Apple or other suitable provider(s), to include as part of an extended and improved program, reading tablets and electronic books distribution.

Fraternal Order Knights of Pythias & Pythian Sisters

The Pythian Youth Camp is the Jewel of the Order Knights Pythias. The camp holds the promise of a different life for at-risk children. A child leaves the often cruel streets of the inner-city, seeing for the first time night skies filled with stars; hearing the running waters as they flow through quiet canyons; feeling the freshness of mountain winds; hearing joy and laughter echoed from the trees and mountains while sitting around a campfire. Children at Camp is about life-changing experience and the people who inspire them. We invite you to join us in our campaign to send children to camp.

"We take children to camp!"

Pythians are pledged to the promotion of understanding among men of good will as the surest means of attaining Universal Peace, We believe that men and women meeting in the spirit of goodwill, in an honest effort of understanding, can live together on this earth in peace and harmony. The Order, established in 1864 in Washington DC by Justus H. Rathbone, was the first fraternal order chartered by an act of Congress. The Pythian Sisters was founded 24 years later, in 1888.Domains of the orders exist in most states and provinces, and subordinate lodges are located in most cities across the United States and Canada.

Famous Knights
William McKinley, U.S. President
Peter King, U.S. Congressman
Hubert Humphrey, U.S. Vice President
Warren G. Harding, U.S. President
Robert Byrd, U.S. Senator
William Jennings Bryant, U.S. Senator 
Hugo Black, Chief justice
Sun Ra, Jazz Musician
Nelson A. Rockefeller, U.S. Vice President
Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President
James Roosevelt, U.S. Congressman
Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator
Lew Wallace, General, Author, Diplomat
Anthony Weiner, U.S. Congressman