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LAKE HUGHES, CA, August 17, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On Saturday, August 1st and Sunday, 2nd, The IX Winds Ranch Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 organization, founded by Emmy Award winning veteran actor Glynn Turman (In Treatment), and wife Jo-An, hosted their 17th annual free western-style summer camp program 'Camp Gid D Up' for inner-city and at-risk youth on their 20 acre ranch just outside of Los Angeles. Nearly 20 youth attended the two day camp retreat where they learned to ride horses, swim, rope steer heads, catch tadpoles and frogs, toss horseshoes, do arts & crafts, archery, ride Mighty Bucky (mechanical bull), hike, sleep under the stars, have campfires, sing songs, perform skits, share thoughts, breathe fresh air and enjoy nature.
Camp Gid D Up provides an opportunity for inner-city and at-risk youth to experience a western lifestyle, learn and interact with nature in a desert biome and observe astronomy in an unpolluted environment.
"This is the best day of my life," says 11 year-old Daimien after his first riding lesson. This feeling was echoed by several other campers throughout the weekend. "We have been so blessed to be able to give back to so many youth over the years who might never have an opportunity to experience summer camp," says Glynn. "Camp changed both mine and Jo-An's lives for the better and we are so fortunate to be able to give others a chance to experience this joy and lifestyle."
Many of these campers have serious academic deficits, have never been out of town and some have had delinquency problems. The camp introduced them to the concept of being good stewards of the environment who celebrate through recycling, replenishing and recreation.
The IX Winds Ranch Foundation and 'Camp Gid D Up' was founded as a promise at a peace conference by Emmy Award winning actor Glynn Turman and his wife, Jo-An to the late Mrs. Coretta King to bring peace among youth gangs after the riots of the 1990s. For more than 17 years, the Turmans have operated the camp through their IX Winds Ranch Foundation. Over 90% of the campers who have attended Gid D Up have gone on to college, technical school, the military or employment.
During the retreat, the youth had surprise visits from a number of celebrity guests. Actor Jim Pickens, Jr. (Grey's Anatomy), who is also a camp sponsor, spent the afternoon with the group demonstrating his roping skills and even taught some of them how to make a loop. Actor Reginald T. Dorsey (Kings of the Evening) has been a volunteer at Gid D Up for the past 17 years and was the riding instructor for the entire weekend alongside another long-time volunteer Scott Miller, a veteran Hollywood stunt man, who has been the camp's roping instructor for 15 years. Lastly, Glynn taught the youth how to ride Mighty Bucky, do archery and how to swim in the swimming hole with the frogs, tadpoles and catfish.
The campers learned the physics of motion associated with roping, riding and hiking. They also learned about farming and wildlife while attending the retreat. Mentors and tutors were available to help increase basic academic skills. Because there are few city lights, campers were able to map the constellations as ancient observers did so many years ago. They had an opportunity to appreciate an agricultural way of life by interacting with farm animals and gardening, a first for many of the campers.
This year's campers came from Families for Children Foster Agency and Vision Christian Ministries. Sponsors and contributors who made the camp retreat a success include: The Jim and Gina Pickens Foundation, The L.A. County Probation Department, Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Siegel, Cynthia and Arnold Larkin, Harold and Hattie Wheeler, Families for Children Foster Agency, Valerie and Michael Bean, Councilman Bernard Parks and others.
IX WINDS RANCH FOUNDATION "Camp Gid D Up", a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, provides unique opportunities to inner-city and at-risk youth. The foundation was founded by Emmy Award winning actor Glynn Turman and his wife, Jo-An, as a promise to the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Over 1,000 youth have attended the free multi-cultural western-style summer camp on a ranch owned by The Turmans. The youth learn to ride horses, rope, swim, toss horseshoes, do arts and crafts, hike, ride Mighty Bucky, archery, campfires, sleep under the stars, enjoy nature, and breathe fresh air. For sponsorship information visit: www.campgiddup.org or www.ixwindsranch.org
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