Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association


Mission Statement

The mission of the Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association (MWCA) is to foster inter-generational and culturally diverse outdoor education, group camping, recreation, conservation, and protection of the Woodlands’ unique ecological and cultural landscape. MWCA actively embodies this mission through our Mendocino Outdoor Science School (MOSS), which serves diverse groups of youth, and our historic group camping facilities that hosts over 40 camps, cultural events, and retreats every year.


The Mendocino Woodlands Camp Association (MWCA) is the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates and stewards Mendocino Woodlands State Park. A registered National Historic Landmark, the Mendocino Woodlands is one of the Recreation Demonstration Areas (RDAs) planned and built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. Of the 46 RDA’s built in the United States, the Mendocino Woodlands is only one of two remaining today, and is the only one still serving its original purpose --- group camping and outdoor education--- without interruption and virtually unaltered since opening in 1938. MWCA was incorporated in 1948 expressly to operate and maintain the park, and to carry out the original Congressional mandate: “ shall be used exclusively for public park, recreation and conservation purposes,” by providing affordable camping available to groups and organizations. As California State Park’s oldest partner, MWCA stewards over 720 acres of redwood forest in the Mendocino Woodlands State Park and serves over 28,000 campers each year.

Program Details

Mendocino Outdoor Science School (MOSS):
MWCA launched its environmental education programs in 1976, and our Mendocino Outdoor Science School (MOSS) continues to serve youth ages 8 to 18. Every Fall and Spring, more than 2,000 youth from over twelve counties in Northern California stay on-site in National Historic Landmark cabins and study the natural environment in small field groups. Discovery-based curriculum and community building are the core values of MOSS. Field groups enjoy hands-on activities investigating the redwood forest, freshwater stream, rocky shore tide pools, and estuary. The concepts of habitat, adaptation, energy flow, nutrient cycling, and interdependence are highlighted and reinforced in each ecosystem.
MOSS functions as a small community where each and every person is a valued member. All activities—learning groups, recreation time and meals—are structured to encourage cooperation with emphasis for the youth to become good citizens for the planet. MWCA makes programs available and affordable by providing scholarships to underserved communities. Currently, more than 60% of students served by MOSS qualify for free and reduced lunch programs and 80% come from schools that have been designated as low-income.
We are committed to training the next generation of environmental stewards and our programming is designed to instill a reverence for nature in participants and encourage young people to minimize their negative impact on our public lands while positively contributing to the protection of our natural environment. As we face the threat of climate change it is important now more than ever that we foster a generation of youth with respect and love for the natural environment.
Affordable Group Camping:
The Mendocino Woodlands provides a venue for large group camping activities that allow the public to experience history, nature, and community in a way that is not available at any other location. Several dozen organized groups have been camping at the Woodlands for multiple generations, offering studies in a variety of arts including music, dance, crafts, language, history, and cuisine.
The Woodlands is home to international art and cultural exchanges with campers coming from as far as Sweden and Africa annually. The camp provides a close connection with the redwood forest environment while allowing families and other communities the space to come together and share food, music, and dance--- or simply walk through nature in solitude.
Primary Issue
Secondary Issue
39350 Little Lake Rd (P.O. Box 267)
Mendocino, CA 95460
United States
Social Media Links