Building named after Novato man for more than 50 years of volunteer work at Camp Mendocino, his childhood summer spot
By Nicole Baptista (Marinscope Newspapers)This article appeared in the Marinscope News on September 17, 2012
After more than 50 years of volunteerism, Novato resident Leroy Sims was honored Sept. 1 with a building in his name at Camp Mendocino, a program of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco.
Sims was introduced to the camp as a boy. He started as a member of the Mission Branch Boys Club in 1946. Three years later, he attended Camp Mendocino for the first time, where his passion for the outdoor education and environmental center ignited.
For 81 years, Camp Mendocino has provided a creative and fun camping experience for youth ages eight to 18. The camp, located in a 2,000-acre redwood forest three hours north of San Francisco, offers confidence-boosting programs that allow youth to grow mentally and emotionally.
“My dad attended in the summer of 1949 as a camper, which had a profound effect on him,” said Dave Sims, Leroy’s son. “He was overjoyed with his time as a camper, and when he had a chance to work at the camp as a young man he jumped at it.”
Sims worked at Camp Mendocino from 1954-1955, where he said he learned valuable life lessons. In 1965 he and friends Gino Westcott and Bud Karp founded the Purple Kumquats, a volunteer organization for the betterment of Camp Mendocino in 1965.
“The Purple Kumquats’ mission was to keep the camp what it is — a slice of paradise that thousands of kids can enjoy year in and year out,” Dave Sims said.
Leroy Sims remains active at the camp and is affectionately called the “Grand Pu-bah Supreme Leader” by fellow members.
“The group has never been stronger than in 2012,” Dave Sims said. “The tireless efforts from the Purple Kumquats and many other people have made Camp Mendocino what it is today.”
Contact Nicole Baptista at email@example.com.