YMCA Camp Kitaki

A Year in the Life of Camp

A Year in the Life of Camp

2016 has been an incredible year at Kitaki.  There are always too many blessings to count, but I wanted to share a few things that we at Kitaki are particularly proud of in 2016.  It begins with something simple, but perhaps the most important, which is the fact that we are able to do what we do.  Sharing our wonderful camp with so many kids and families is a privilege, and one that is vastly more important than anything on the list below (although we love those too!).  So without further ado I bring you (not entirely complete) list of milestones from 2016!

  • Sold Out Summer 2016!  Such an amazing milestone, but one not without it’s own heartache.  For a group of people who so passionately believe that every kid needs camp, being full is tough because it means we have to turn people away.  On the other hand it also means that we get to have maximum impact, and dream of how to get more kids to camp!
  • Ranger Camp!  For the first time since creating Adventure Mini Camp over 10 years ago, Kitaki created a new summer camp program designed to focus on outdoor skills, and in living as it’s own community within Camp.  We are so proud of the 20 campers and the 3 staff and 2 SKs who helped make this dream a reality and one of the most special experiences we have at camp!
  • Makerspace Year 2!  After a successful year in 2015, Kitaki revamped the physical space of the crafts den to focus more on the concepts of a Makerspace and the results were incredible!  New storage and tools allowed for kids to better see what materials they could use and what tools were available.  We will never cease to be amazed by the creativity of our campers when given the opportunity to build whatever they would like!  You can see some of their projects here!
  • Women’s Wellness Weekend!  Who could have ever imagined the response to this weekend?  We loved having the opportunity to share some camp magic with a group of ladies who were all a little older than our usual campers!  The response was so great this will be an annual tradition at Kitaki.  Learn more about the 2017 event here!
  • Outdoor Education!  It’s not always talked about, but Kitaki plays host to many schools throughout the non-summer months providing an outdoor experiential extension to their school day.  Each year over the past 7 years we have added more schools to this program and 2016 is no different.  We couldn’t be more excited to continue to grow another way for kids to learn about themselves, the outdoors and each other.  

There are so many more things we could list, but none of it would be possible without our amazing campers, the trust of our camper families, the hard work of our Senior Kitaki Kids, the life changing effort of our summer and full time staff, and the support of the Lincoln YMCA.  There are so many things to be excited about in 2017.  I can’t wait to share them with you, but we have to leave some surprises to the New Year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sincerely,

Jason Smith

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