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Beaverbrook

See a preview of this Truly CA episode.

Camp Beaverbrook in Lake County, California was the summer home to thousands of campers over the years who enjoyed the good old-fashioned activities of hiking, crafts, fishing, and horseback riding. Through colorful archival footage, filmmaker and former "Beaverbod" Matthew C. Callahan takes the viewer on a joyride through the camp's history. "We were very lucky to come upon so much viable and beautiful footage that had been so well preserved," says Callahan.

Camp Beaverbrook closed its doors in 1985, following a nationwide trend, but its legacy lives on in former campers. Decades later, campers from all walks of life vividly recount the experience of Camp Beaverbrook and its positive effects. For them, it was a crucial part of growing up. "I've met a lot of complete strangers at film festivals who have asked me why Beaverbrook seems universal. I think the story of Camp Beaverbrook is familiar to anyone who ever had a childhood," says Callahan.

Though "Beaverbods" continue to draw strength from campfire memories and homespun values, family-owned and operated camps like Beaverbrook are now almost extinct. In an age when more and more children are growing up in front of devices and screens, Beaverbrook reminds us of the power of interpersonal relationships, socialization and kids just being kids.

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Filmmaker Profiles:

Matthew Callahan

Read more about Matthew Callahan, the producer and director of Beaverbrook.

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Acknowledgments

Truly CA is a KQED production presented in association with Cal Humanities.

Cal HumanitiesCal Humanities produces and supports cultural experiences through media, literature, discussion and more, to promote a greater understanding of the human condition.


Support for Truly CA is provided by the Members of KQED.

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