Ancient Structures, Modern Twist 2010 Summer Intensive

August 8 - 15, 2010  •  Point Bonita, California

Point Bonita - our annual home

The Point Bonita Conference Center is in the Marin Headlands, approximately 5 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, and is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The facility sits on a promontory facing the Pacific Ocean to the west and if you look back east you can just see the Golden Gate Bridge.

The facility was originally built by the US Army to house soldiers and officers whose job it was to "man" the gun emplacements protecting San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay area. Today, this charmingly rustic retreat is run by the YMCA of San Francisco (www.ymcasf.org) and is a Marin County Certified Green Business ( www.co.marin.ca.us).

Driving to Point Bonita

There are two routes out to Point Bonita. The most popular access starts through a tunnel and then winds through open rolling hills, along the creek and up onto the promontory. The other hugs the San Francisco Bay entrance and is quite steep – definitely not a drive for the faint of heart! The day I went to take pictures was a lovely fall day with blue sky over head and fog out to sea. The camp is on the point in the center of the photo.

The YMCA Camp at Point Bonita

The first building on the left houses the camp office and 3 classrooms. Next, just past the white car, is the dining hall. The building at the end of the drive is one of the two sleeping buildings and houses the fourth classroom. The second sleeping building is across from the dining hall, behind the trees on the right side of this photo.

Andrew & the Kitchen

Andrew in front of the Dining Hall

This is a better view of the front of the dining hall. Let me introduce you to Andrew, the Associate Executive Director of YMCA Point Bonita. He works hard to make sure we are comfortable and is the main person with whom we work.

The kitchen serves three meals a day - all fabulous. The chef graduated from the California Culinary Academy and they use fresh, organic produce which is grown in the camp garden. Coffee and tea are available throughout the day.

Fire Pit and the Pacific Ocean

Fire Pit & Pacific Ocean

The Fire Pit has the Pacific Ocean for a dramatic backdrop. We often use this area for natural dye classes.

Each class has its own meeting space. The classrooms are open in the evenings for us to gather, work on an exciting projects, or to just hang out.

Inside a room

Accommodations

The two large sleeping buildings have rooms ranging in size from four beds (two bunk beds) to 13 beds - pictured is one of the larger rooms. There are enough beds that most of us will be able to choose lower bunks.

The camp runs outdoor education programs for students during the school year, so the beds are comfortable and thoughtfully covered with plastic. Each sleeping building has a large bathroom with showers and coin operated laundry.

just a few of the locals

Locals

During the institute, we have the facility to ourselves.

Well almost — there is the staff and then there are the locals.

The camp is home to black–tail deer, many kinds of hawks and other raptors, lots of birds, fox, raccoon, many other small furry creatures, and this past spring we even had a young bobcat.

Things to bring:

a twin-size fitted sheet
Flannel is nice to muffle the rustling plastic of the mattress.
bedding
Can be sheets and blankets, or a sleeping bag.
pillow
There are none at the facility.
clothing layers
Summer in the coastal Bay Area can be either warm and sunny — or foggy and quite cool. It is not a time of high winds but bring long sleeve shirts and wraps to add if it gets damp.
good walking shoes
The ground is uneven in many places. There are many miles great trails including one down to the beach.
camera
electric tea pot
To have tea or coffee in your room without having to walk to the dining room.

Things best left at home:

food
Remember the small furry creatures and raccoons mentioned - they love to come into your room and eat your snacks!
scented toiletries
Many people have sensitivities.

Directions to Point Bonita Conference Center

From South of the Golden Gate Bridge:
Going North on Highway 101 from San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge.
Go past the Vista Point exit and take the Alexander Avenue exit.
As you exit, bear right but proceed slowly.
After approximately 500 feet, take the first left to the Marin Headlands onto Bunker Road.
Ahead you will come to a one-way tunnel. You may have as much as a five-minute red light here. At the green, continue through the tunnel.
Continue straight on Bunker Road for approximately 2 miles.
After you see the horse stables, bear left and follow the signs up the hill onto Field Road heading to Point Bonita and the YMCA Point Bonita.
From North of the Golden Gate Bridge:
Head South on 101 to the last Sausalito exit (after the Waldo Tunnel and just before the bridge).
At the exit stop sign, turn right and double back under 101.
Bear left after the stop sign, proceed slowly.
After 500 feet, take the first left to the Marin Headlands onto Bunker Road. Ahead you will come to a one-way tunnel. You may have as much as a five-minute red light here. At the green, continue through the tunnel
Continue straight on Bunker Road for approximately 2 miles.
After you see the horse stables, bear left and follow the signs up the hill onto Field Road heading to Point Bonita and the YMCA Point Bonita.