OVER EIGHT DECADES
The premier program
for youth since 1931
• Fulfilling the desires of boys and girls with athletics, music, crafts and outings
• Offering camps, excursions
& nationwide tours
• Providing educational and vocational opportunities through Pearl Prep,
Rio Hondo Prep & Summer Trips
• Challenging youth physically, mentally & spiritually to prepare for the future.
KARE YOUTH LEAGUE'S
PURPOSE AND OVERVIEW
Since 1931, Kare Youth League (KYL) has served the greater San Gabriel Valley through a uniquely designed program, integrating athletics, camping and educational experiences.
Our purpose is to provide a wholesome environment where a child can grow, make choices, develop character, build confidence, and shape their future. Last year over 2,000 different children participated in over 350,000 child-hours of activities. Children are welcome to join the program at any time during the year.
The breadth of experiences KYL offers presents the opportunity for every child to succeed. Each child plays on a team, participating in five different sports spread throughout the year, and at Kare that team is more than just a group of ballplayers. They go to camps together, have outings to places like Dodger Stadium or the ever-popular overnights, and learn valuable life-lessons through the mentoring of a “karing” leader.
Children ages 5-18 are guided through all activities by the same leader for two or more years, providing continuity and stability. Over 50% of leadership services are provided by volunteers who donate an average of 22 hours per week, reflecting a year around commitment to youth.
Program offerings currently take place daily after-school and on Saturdays at our centers in Arcadia, Covina and Upland. Our service area stretches from San Gabriel to Upland, roughly between the 10 Freeway and the Foothills.
We operate on a minimal fee structure and are funded by a contribution plan, where families are allowed to participate fully regardless of funds contributed. Member families represent a wide socio-economic spread, and ethnic diversity generally reflects the communities we serve. (42.3% Anglo, 40.1% Hispanic, 9.4% African American, 6.5% Asian, 1.6% Other).
Additional program offerings include: a full camping program at our own camp, Mount Kare, in Wrightwood; two college-prep schools, Rio Hondo and Pearl Prep, serving 300 children in grades 1-12; and annual summer tours across America.
Kare History of Development
Born in 1906, orphaned as a youth, Orrick W. Hampton came west and worked his way through college. At the age of 21, he listened to his heart, urging him to help boys and girls, giving them the security, “care”, and guidance that he had so desperately missed. He worked for a time with other youth agencies and the Department of Recreation.
1930’s - Orrick W. Hampton organized the Boys Christian League in October 1931 in East Pasadena. It was an independent organization not connected to any church, patterned after Indian lore. The first activity was located at a camp in San Dimas Canyon. Athletics were the ideal way to win the hearts of boys. The below average player would respond and rapidly improve to compete with the rest. Youth accepted discipline with loyalty and dependability. Team sports enabled the helping of many youngsters at one time. First clubs were in East Pasadena and Sierra Madre. The organization sold Christmas cards. A friend contributed a printing press, setting another precedent for the future.
1940’s - Orrick Hampton purchased a family home in East Pasadena. The back bedroom with its outside entrance became a club room, the garage a print shop and office. Assistant leaders served their terms of army service and returned with new dedication. A Rosemead Boulevard building served as the organizational office, print shop, and retail outlet for selling of Christmas cards and sporting goods. Camp Marion, high on the mountains above Wrightwood, was leased. Clubs were added in Temple City, San Gabriel, Monrovia and Arcadia. A surplus army truck served as the mode of transportation. College age members organized the Phosterians, a leadership training program.
1950’s - Mr. Hampton's wife, Ruth, started a program for the girls. In April 1952, Mr. Clifford Marshburn offered the use of South Arcadia land. Shovels, wheelbarrows, rakes and trucks went to work. Businessmen, contractors, unions, and skilled labor cooperated. Buildings emerged with that spirit of cooperation. Mr. Marshburn contributed the land as a place for boys and girls. The League purchased Camp Marion and began permanent improvements. New clubs began in the cities of El Monte, Duarte, and north Arcadia. A new bus was purchased. The Parent’s Auxiliary sponsored women’s luncheons and an annual circus. Boys earned their way on a summer trip across the United States. The Phosterians group began activities in San Felipe, Mexico.
1960’s - Young men and women who had come up through the organization became leaders and coaches. They installed field lights for night activities and bleachers for spectators. Mr. Hampton made a nationwide tour each summer with a group of boys or girls, performing original musicals written by the students and faculty of Rio Hondo Prep under the direction of Gary Lunney. A bus load of members visited the children of San Felipe, Mexico each year. Rio Hondo Preparatory School was opened in September of 1964. Improvements at camp included a craft cabin and an infirmary/office.
1970’s - The site adjacent to Camp Marion was purchased, giving birth to Mount Kare. A multipurpose Pavilion was erected for basketball, volleyball and other indoor activities, a great dream of many years. A forty foot trailer was purchased to become a portable stage used on the national musical tours. Teams from San Felipe, Mexico began traveling to Arcadia to compete. The Boys’ and Girls’ Christian Leagues merged to form Kare Youth League.
1980’s - In October of 1981, Kare celebrated its golden anniversary. Orrick W. Hampton had realized the fulfillment of his dreams of a place for boys and girls with a dedicated staff of professionally trained leaders. Shortly thereafter he passed away, and Francis Ostergard, a charter member in 1931 assumed leadership. The League expanded to Covina, Glendora and West Covina with the lease of Wingate Park (now Kahler Russell Park) from the City of Covina. Mount Kare added a spacious two-story lodge. Kare’s Arcadia facility was upgraded with a new driveway and field lights on Kare Field. Mr. Pat Taylor moved to San Felipe, greatly expanding the Kare program in Mexico.
1990’s - Kare’s annual circus was moved to Pasadena City College and then later to Citrus College. Two new bunkhouses were constructed at Mount Kare, providing an ideal summer and winter camp, with the best of facilities in a beautiful secluded area. In 1996, Hampton Hall, a multi-purpose building in Arcadia was completed, providing classrooms for Rio Hondo Prep School. Flood Control land was added for expanded parking for 170 cars at Kare’s Arcadia facility. In fall of 1995, Pearl Prep, serving grades K-5 began in the city of El Monte.
2000's - Project 2000 was completed, providing additional parking and security to Kare’s Arcadia facility, along with a five room multipurpose building constructed at Kahler Russell Park. Kare continues to look to the future, introducing new team names to the program and inspiring men and women to expand the Kare program beyond the San Gabriel Valley.
2010's - The construction of the multipurpose Truman B. Stivers Center was completed at Kare/Arcadia. Watch the ribbon cutting ceremony below as the the doors of the gym were opened to the next generation of young Kare boys and girls.
Kare Youth League is currently in the planning phase of a Kare Park, a sports complex located just outside the Santa Fe Dam in the city of Irwindale. When complete, the new facility will seasonally include five baseball fields, three football/soccer fields, five basketball courts and an office/clubroom facility. If you would like to donate to this project please contact Mr. Dave Carson at [email protected]