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Grants in Action: Youth Camps

Across the Pacific Northwest, camp environments can be a critical element in both personal development and forging friendships and bonds that can last a lifetime. While most children experience camp during the summer time, many organizations and nonprofits host groups year-round for specific programs and events. Camp sites in every corner of our region provide a break from the technology-cluttered, hectic day-to-day of modern life and help bring focus back to nature, the environment, community and personal health.

Since our founding, the Murdock Trust has been grateful to play a small role in the growth and development of countless children from all backgrounds through our partnerships with numerous camps across the region. Here are just a few examples of the organizations that are helping Northwest children flourish and thrive through structured outdoor experiences.

Camp Solomon Schechter in Tumwater, Washington, provides a place for children and young adults to connect with their Jewish community and faith while developing leadership, respect and teambuilding in an outdoor setting. Its OSPREY Camp provides a unique opportunity for elementary school students to learn environmental science through hands-on ecology lessons as part of their academic curriculum. A Murdock Trust grant helped renovate the dining hall and kitchen, allowing it to accommodate more campers and provide educational cooking opportunities.

Camp Solomon Schechter

Nestled in 40 acres of woods along Northern Idaho’s Lower Twin Lake, Twinlow Camp and Retreat Center gives summer campers and off-season retreat groups a sanctuary that celebrates diversity and inspires love and service. The camp is affiliated with the United Methodist church but serves groups of all faiths. A Murdock Trust grant funded the construction of new housing to better support Twinlow’s staff and interns.

Twinlow Camp and Retreat Center

B’nai Brith Camp is located on Devil’s Lake in the coastal town of Lincoln City and serves youth from around Oregon through its day camp, summer camps and weekend retreats. Although B’nai Brith is a Jewish community camp and many of its campers are connected to the Jewish community, it is open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Rustic cabins were upgraded to modern, ADA-accessible cabins with funding from a Murdock Trust grant.

B’nai Brith Camp

For more than 40 years, Camp Hodia has served children with Type 1 diabetes to help foster self-reliance, education and inspiration. Youth from around Idaho, eastern Oregon and western Wyoming attend summer, day, wilderness adventure and ski camps, regardless of their ability to pay. Because of camper medical needs, the staff-to-camper ratio is 3:1 for teens and 2:1 for younger children, requiring about 300 volunteers each year. A Murdock Trust grant helped Camp Hodia hire a volunteer manager to expand the volunteer program.

Camp Hodia

At YMCA’s Camp Collins, located on the Sandy River in Oregon, youth from inner cities, the suburbs and rural communities get to explore nature and grow in skills and character development. Campers can stay in hobbit holes or treetop cabins and enjoy archery, rafting, ropes courses and other fun outdoor activities. The camp’s nearly decade-old main lodge needed a major renovation, and with help from a Murdock Trust grant, it was transformed into a 7,800-square-foot dining and meeting space with staff housing on the second floor. Read more about this important renovation and the history of Rusty’s Red Bird Lodge on our blog.

Camp Collins

This is just a handful of the many quality youth camps in our region. If you have young people in your life who could benefit from a great camping experience, check out these and other camps on our Grants Awarded page.