Our first Hero’s Journey was a success. It was a hit among the parents who appreciated the freedom during their holiday because others were looking after their kids most of the day. It was a hit among the children because they loved being with other kids and the facilitators were cool dudes who knew how to play.
However, our original intention was more of a camp rather than a “luxury” tour which it inadvertently turned into because we went to places like Hacienda Isabella, Sonya’s Garden, Club Balai Isabel and Canyon Cove. Even if Camp Benjamin was a “camp,” it’s well-appointed facilities served big corporate team-building activities. For the next Hero’s Journey, we want it to be more of a real camp and we found the perfect place via our partners, California Summer Camps (CSC).
Camile took Donna and me to their camp in the mountains of Jala Jala Rizal with a beautiful view of Laguna Lake. The facilities are simple but well-thought-of. The nipa hut dorms have generous verandas where people can sit and have bonding sessions on bamboo benches. The big covered central space is open to the elements but roofed over so that it can host a wide array of activities. There’s a small pool to beat the heat, a climbing wall and zipline to complete the outdoor theme. There’s a cozy gazebo surrounded by a fish pond and lots of open space for kids to run around and expend their tremendous energy.
The land in Jala Jala belongs to the mom of CSC’s founder, Marc Leonor and you can see hanging on the walls pictures of him growing up in the States. Having experienced summer camp life as a kid and working as a camp counselor in California, it was but natural for Marc to start his own when he moved to the Philippines.