The magic of John Muir lives today in our public parklands and wilderness areas, the orchards and vineyards of Contra Costa County, sunsets atop Mt. Wanda, and in writings and teachings that spread the word about nature and our place in it.

About John Muir Mountain Day Camp

John Muir Mountain Day Camp's goal is to enlighten students to the teachings and legacy of John Muir, as well as provide opportunities for expression, creativity and interaction in a safe environment that fosters growth and appreciation for nature and conservation.

John Muir Mountain Day Camp was the brainchild of Richard Elliott, producing artistic director of the Willows Theatre and board member of the John Muir Association, in 2003. Its first home was the John Muir Amphitheater at the Martinez Marina. In 2004, the John Muir Association and the National Park Service became sponsors and moved the camp to its permanent residence. Camp is now based on the grounds of the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California, the place Muir called home for the last 24 years of his life.

In the past, presenters have included Muir’s family members: Wanda Muir’s son, Ross Hanna and Ross’s son Michael Muir of Access Adventure. Other guests have included Sequoia National Park Service Ranger Frank Helling portraying John Muir (watch YouTube video below with Frank describing John Muir’s reaction to a Yosemite earthquake), Dan'l McIlhenny performing songs from the John Muir Tribute CD, Dr. Bonnie Gisel of the LeConte Memorial Lodge as Dr. Nature, Eco-musician Bill Oliver, Children's book author Donnell Rubay, Megan Costello from REI-Concord, and the Allen Family of the Solar Schoolhouse and Rahus Institute. Guest teachers are subject to change.

Frank Helling Describing John Muir

Please note, if the above video does not appear on this
page, please click the YouTube search button below.

About Our Staff

Photo: left to right: Naomi Torres, Former Chief of Interpretation at the John Muir National Historic Site; Jill Harcke, Camp Director; Martha Lee, General Superintendent; and Susan Barry, Camp Director.

Jill Harcke has 15 years experience as an elementary and high school teacher and is a “life long student of Muir.” She organized the pre-show exhibits at the John Muir Mountain Days Musical and co-produced The John Muir Tribute CD with Dan McIlhenny. In addition, she wrote the Camp Song, Born To Love the Wild. Joining Muir scholar, Mayme Kimes, she gave a presentation at the University of the Pacific’s John Muir Conference. She has taught people of all ages to bake with her 140-year-old Alaskan sourdough starter, one of the many favorite camp activities.

Camp Director Susan Barry is a professional artist, who teaches arts and crafts at the camp. A native Californian, Susan has been teaching arts and crafts for more than 35 years to children and adults of all ages. Inspired by John Muir’s love of the wilderness, she enjoys leading painting trips into the high Sierra. Her watercolor landscapes adorn Sierra Club lodges, wine labels, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala Uganda, the Le Conte Memorial Lodge in Yosemite and several private collections in the Northwest.  

Camp Directors Sue Barry and Jill Harcke created this John Muir Immersion Experience where everything at camp is connected to John Muir in some way. Art, music, scientific experiments and observations, baking with sourdough starter, journaling and having BIG FUN name a few of the activities that make John Muir Mountain Day Camp a favorite for children. It’s an eclectic camp where all children feel welcome and connected to each other as well as nature.


Questions? Call Camp Director Jill Harcke: (925) 680-8807





Home | About Us | About John Muir | Events and Programs | Join | News | Gallery | Kimes Collection
Store | Capital Projects | Our Partner | Kindred Organizations | Links | Contact Us
| Site Map
©2017 John Muir Association– All rights reserved
Site design: Akeson Design