2021 Camp & Outdoor Leadership Vision | Growing For the Benefit of All 

Last updated: March 17, 2021, at 10:26 a.m. PT

Originally published: March 17, 2021, at 10:26 a.m. PT

Mineral Lake, Future YMCA Camp

Our camps and programs have an important role to play in healing our community. As youth come together with other young people from all walks of life, they learn to live and work with people who do not share their life experiences. This is an important step toward building the generation of social justice warriors who will help to heal our nation. Our youth have been hit hard by this pandemic, especially black and indigenous youth. Young people have missed out on so many of the developmental experiences that many of us took for granted in our youth.   

In 2020, teens filled 35 BOLD & GOLD backpacking trips and families camped together at Camp Orkila and Camp Colman, but there were so many more youth we wanted to serve. This year, we are working very hard to make sure that we can make the healing power of the great outdoors available to all who seek it. We are preparing our facilities and staff to facilitate life-changing experiences for youth and families while adapting to the evolving guidance. We built our muscles for adapting during all those years going to summer camp ourselves! 

As we strive to show up for young people in 2021, we are also clearing a path to make outdoor experiences available to all youth in our region. We are building to accommodate the youth of today and planning to expand to serve the youth of tomorrow.   

Thanks to the Norcliffe Foundation and in partnership with the Nisqually Tribe, we are moving forward with the purchase of property at Mineral Lake. This will be the site of the first new overnight camp for the YMCA of Greater Seattle in over 100 years! We are also partnering with Forterra to purchase Camp Kilworth in Federal Way, formerly a Boy Scout camp. At this site, we will offer day camp, family camping and events, and environmental education.   

Thank you for joining us on this journey. Thank you for making it possible for us to serve all children, regardless of their financial circumstance. Thank you for making it possible for us to pivot in 2020, to serve youth and families in the ways that we could show up. And thank you for supporting us in building a future where all youth will grow in the outdoors. 

Meredith Cambre 
Executive Director of Camping & Outdoor Leadership 

Category: Camp Outdoor