The property of Pendola Center was donated to the Diocese of Sacramento in 1959, in the memory of Frank Pendola Jr. for use as a summer camp for children. It was first used in the summer of 1960 under the direction of Fr. Keith Kenny with approximately 30 campers staying for one ten-day session. Since 1960, the camp has grown to include 7 sessions including six 7 day sessions and one 4 day session. In addition, there are a variety of program options within each session. With the exception of one Girls Only week, the sessions are co-ed. Special programming is offered for younger campers through our First Time Camper sessions all the way through high school with our leadership programs and high school back packing trip.
With over 55 years of operation, the camp now has second generation campers. Children of previous campers enjoy some of the same activities their parents enjoyed. Over 20,000 campers have slept in the cabins, swam in the pond, and hiked the hills around camp.
The staff has grown from about 8 to over 35. Fr. Keith Kenny, was the first Director (1959-1963) followed by Fr. Leo McAllister (1963-1970), Fr. Murrough Wallace (1970-1990), Stephen Tholcke (1991-2005), and Lori Rosene (2006-2016). The facility has seen enormous changes including the addition of winter dormitories, complete kitchen and dining hall, a beautiful chapel, plus new cabins. The programs have grown from three weeks of summer camp to 7 sessions, plus family camp.
The camp is supported by user fees, plus donations by other groups and individuals to our campership fund. The camp is a nonprofit organization.