Camp Erwin Owen

Camp Visitation


campowensCamp Erwin Owen is a 65 bed juvenile forestry camp for youth aged 14-18. We are located in Kernville, California, and opened in 1938 as an honor and work camp. We hold true to that tradition today, as staff and allied agencies provide services which promote discipline, a strong work ethic and individual responsibility. All programming is geared to provide youth with the necessary tools to remain crime free upon their return to the community. Camp has been described as the “Crown Jewel” of the Kern River Valley due to the aesthetic beauty of the grounds and our commitment to help the community with numerous and ongoing community service projects. Youth attend school, participate in evidence based treatment and learn vocational skills while contributing to the maintenance of the facility through work crews. Our work crews include caring for our chickens and pigs, working in the garden which produces food for the Dining Hall, as well as being assigned to kitchen, laundry, grounds, and community service projects.

When a youth enters Camp, he will be assessed based on a multitude of factors, including: the seriousness of their offense, past history of delinquency, gang affiliation, school performance, family dynamics and treatment needs. All youth committed to Camp are assigned a case counselor, who works with him to meet educational and treatment goals. Staff assist youth in earning their release by meeting with them often, monitoring their behavior, and documenting their progress. By evaluating the information obtained during the youth’s risk/needs assessment, the counselor will individualize the components of their program, working with on-site collaborative partners, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and College Community Services (CCS), our mental health provider.

Camp offers four evidence based programs, Aggression Replacement Training, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention-Substance Abuse, Thinking for a Change, and Seeking Safety. Individual counseling and family counseling are also available as deemed appropriate by the youth’s counselor and CCS staff.