YMCA Expands Outdoor Opportunities for Youth in Pierce and Kitsap Counties
The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties and Camp Fire of the Central Puget Sound have partnered to transition Camp Niwana in Port Orchard to YMCA Camp Lake Helena, now owned and operated by the Y.
The 134-acre camp property located at 11606 Ranch Drive SW in Port Orchard has served thousands of youth during its 64-year history under the leadership of Camp Fire. With a shared commitment to our community’s youth, the Y will continue its 114-year tradition of creating access to nature through meaningful outdoor experiences serving as regional day camp site for youth throughout Pierce and Kitsap Counties.
“The YMCA is committed to providing youth with the opportunity to get away from daily distractions, unplug and enjoy nature.” said Charlie Davis, president and CEO of the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.
Camp Niwana was owned and operated by Camp Fire since 1954 and has a long history of serving youth in Kitsap County.
“It was important to Camp Fire that we find a partner who was committed to continuing to use the property for the benefit and education of Kitsap Peninsula youth.” said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of Camp Fire Central Puget Sound.
The Y will kick off programming at its new camp this summer offering eight one-week sessions. YMCA camp programs offer youth fun and unique experiences with an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. To ensure that all youth have the chance to experience camp, the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties offers financial assistance to those in need.
Moving forward, local youth can continue to participate in Camp Fire programs at any of our 18 day camps across the Puget Sound, our group programming tailored to engage the entire family or at Camp Sealth, our overnight camp located on Vashon Island.
YMCA Camp Lake Helena will host an open house on May 18 from 1-4 p.m. where community members can tour the facility, speak with camp staff and sign up for summer programs.
For more information, visit ymcacamplakehelena.org.
About the Y
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We provide $4.2 million in financial assistance and program subsidy annually, enabling 42,000 people in need to access YMCA programs. The Y has been enriching Pierce and Kitsap communities for 125 years.
About Camp Fire
Camp Fire has been an innovative leader in youth development since 1910. Its proven programs give kids the life skills they need now so they can succeed and thrive. Last year, Camp Fire’s 53 councils served more than 184,000 youth and families across 1,341 program sites, in 25 states and in D.C. All Camp Fire programs are based on cutting-edge research and founded on the pillars of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), delivered through Out-of- School-Time (OST) programs, environmental education and camp, and teen service and leadership development. Because youth shape the world, Camp Fire’s focus is on giving youth and teens the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.