The Lions Camp at Terresita Pines
Camp Teresita Pines near Wrightwood in the Angeles National Forest was purchased by the Lions Wilderness Camp in 1995. Individual Lions Clubs, including the West Torrance Lions Club, adopted cabins financially and supplied many volunteer hours. Over the years, Lions have upgraded the facility into a desirable year-round camp. Our club continues to provide maintenance funding for our cabin.
As the camp expanded, rentals expanded beyond the two weeks set aside as the Southern California home for the Lions Wilderness Camp for Deaf Children. The camp now serves the Jay Nolan Camp, an inclusive residential camp program accredited by the American Camp Association, designed to bring children without disabilities and children with developmental disabilities together in a caring environment. The camp also serves Boy Scout, Girl Scout, LAUSD, various religious groups and private organizations.
By 1998 a separate management group was formed to handle the increasing rentals, upkeep and improvements. As of 2006, all assets from the Wilderness Camp have been turned over to the Teresita Pines management team. Past International President Don Banker of the West Torrance Lions Club served on the Board of Directors until his death in 2009. Find out more here.
Lions Wilderness Camp for Deaf Children
Founded as the “Lions of California – Nevada Wilderness Camp for Deaf Children” in 1981, this original purpose was declared: “To provide wilderness camping facilities, experiences, educational opportunities, health care and counseling for hearing impaired children.” This is a camp where a deaf child can learn outdoor skills and fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of nature. It is a unique camp developed especially for deaf children to learn and socialize in their own language of signs.
In 1980, Roger Adams, a man from Stockton with a deaf son, requested the Lions help establish a deaf camp. The Governors got together at a Council Meeting to approve MD-4 endorsement and start the wheels in motion to align the camp with Lions Clubs International. Camp was first held at Avery, in the mountains of Northern California. Kids from as far away as San Diego benefited. Four hundred children applied for camp but only 258 could be accommodated. The West Torrance Lions Club was the largest supporter donating $5,000, fishing gear and a charted bus. Donations of approximately $42,000 in contributions came from Lions and Lions Clubs. The West Torrance Lions Club has been supporting the camp ever since.
There are now two camps, Camp Ros Relles near Nevada City in Northern California, and Camp Terresita Pines near Wrightwood in Southern California. Find out more here.
Friends of Angels
Friends of Angels is a weekend retreat for autistic spectrum children and their families. This camp provides autistic children with a wilderness experience including hiking, swimming, sensory play, camp fires and much needed nap times. The Camp provides the parents and siblings a break from the 24/7 care of their child, while allowing them to be there for comfort if needed. The event is held in one of the nearby facility in the mountains, so that the children can participate in activities that may not ordinarily be available to them. The retreat is administered by the Journey Covenant Church of Redondo Beach, and their many volunteers. The cost of participation is underwitten by Journey Covenant and other sponsors, large and small, including a major donation by the West Torrance Lions Club. Find out more here.
Switzer Learning Center
In 2011 the West Torrance Lions Club gave a major donation of $10,000 to the Switzer Center. Since 1966, Switzer Learning Center has been operating an outpatient diagnostic and treatment clinic, a K-12 nonpublic school and a nonpublic agency serving children with mild to severe learning, emotional and behavioral challenges and their families. Students are provided ongoing observation and reevaluation to develop individual behavior support plans and California standards-based instruction. Most Switzer students are able to mainstream back to their public school or earn a high school diploma from their home school district while attending Switzer Learning Center. The vast majority of graduates go on to college, vocational trade school or successful employment. Students are eligible to attend free of charge, after their home school district has determined that they are eligible for special education. Find out more here.
Mobile Screening Unit
The West Torrance Lions Club has been instrumental in guiding and maintaining this community resource. For more information, click here.
Each year the West Torrance Lions Club presents a $500 yearly scholarship as part of California Dollars for Scholars. This is a four-year scholarship. To be eligible, a senior must have a minimum 3.0 unweighted GPA from one of the high schools that participate in our All Star Football Game, must demonstrate financial need, must demonstrate a competitive spirit through participation in athletics, must demonstrate ongoing community involvement, and must enroll in a full-time course of study in an accredited college. California Dollars for Scholars identifies prospective applicants and performs some of the vetting process. Find out more about CDFS here.
The West Torrance Lions Club will also be offering a one-time $1000 scholarship to one of our All-Star Football team members. This scholarship is presented in memorial to Past International President Don Banker.
Donations to Needy Families
Each year, the West Torrance Lions Club works with the Harbor Regional Center in Torrance to identify individual families who have specific needs for essential items such as clothes, blankets, cooking utensils, bicycles and small appliances. We compile a list and purchase or secure donations for these items for direct delivery to the families. Please let us know if you have low-cost sources for these items.
The Attic Youth Center in Torrance
The Attic Youth Center is a drop-in program for 14-18 year-olds in the City of Torrance. It provides all Torrance high school students with a variety of recreational, academic, vocational and self-help programs, in an environment safely away from drugs, alcohol, and gangs. This is accomplished through a balance of challenging activities and programs that are designed to enhance their physical, mental and social well being. In the company of friends and supportive recreation staff, students can gain self-esteem, advance socially and academically, and enjoy activities that spark life-long interests and success. The Attic is a direct reflection of students’ input. The programs are organized and implemented by high school students with adult supervision. Students have unique opportunities to plan and participate in special events, classes, activities, volunteerism, fitness, sports and much more.
The idea for The Attic was conceived by a group of high school students who solicited local service organizations for help in establishing an after school program for high school students. The West Torrance Lions Club answered the call. Led by Lion Pat Welch, the club provided initial seed money and joined a group of volunteers who raised additional money for the project through donations and a series of pancake breakfasts. Eventually the City of Torrance recognized the need for a high school youth center and now provides the major funding. Learn more here.