Camp Westwind

YWCA Camp Westwind
Encouraging Community
Embracing Diversity
Exploring the World Around Us!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wind Down at Westwind is open for registration!!

Camp Families,

You may be winding up for the school year or wrapping up your summer but we want to give you another chance to come and enjoy all that camp has to offer at Wind Down at Westwind.
Come alone, come with your family, come with whomever you choose--just come!
The details:
September 27th to 29th
Crossing on the 27th is at 4:30pm or you can walk in the camp road at a time that works for you.
On the 29th crossing out is at 11:30 or stay and play for a bit longer and walk out the camp road later in the afternoon.

Friday will include a traditional Camp Westwind Campfire with s’mores
Saturday you can choose your own activities; hike, kayak, paddle board, challenge course, crafts, a game of elimination or just relax on the beach or inside by the fire!
Saturday evening we will have the third annual Wind Down Family Festival with games and prizes for all ages!
Sunday includes a delicious hot breakfast, walks on the beach and you getting to choose how to spend your time with many camp options!

Hope to see you there! Pass the word on to your friends and family!
Register Now!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Session 5 day 4

We hear it is really warm back in the valley.  It isn't so warm here at the beach.  But we don't care because camp is still great fun no matter what kind of weather.  Today campers came back in from their overnights, cleaned up and had the morning to do activities.  Many cabin groups were out doing challenge course while others were doing archery, arts and crafts or taking much needed showers. 
On the second night we had an all camp beach party complete with elimination, snowcones and dancing.  We decided to dig a giant hole as well.  With a lot of camper power we dug a hole that was about seven feet long and six feet wide and four feet deep.  We thought it would make a great camp hot tub being so close to the ocean! It will be gone soon when high tide comes.

The meteors are out and some of us have seen shooting stars! It's pretty amazing at camp with no city lights!
The tooth fairy has come a few times as well as celebrating three birthdays! At camp we don't need  a reason to dress up and act silly and sing but birthdays and the tooth fairy are two of our favorites!

Tomorrow is the last full day at camp.  The Teen Leadership 2's will  be closing their time talking about change and transition, Alpine and Teen Adventure will have a good ole fashioned ho down, Highlands is having a spa/board game party and Sherwood will be hunting for fairy houses and gardens.  Everyone will come back together to share one last campfire before saying "see you next summer" as the cross the river on Friday.

Thanks as always for trusting with your children!


Pictures from this session thus far can be found here:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Session 4 Day 2

It's day 2 of Session 4 and the campers are all happy and healthy!
It's chilly and overcast here at the coast but you would never know.  Kids are running around outside, paddling in kayaks, shooting arrows and chasing unicorns (or a staff person dressed up as a unicorn).

Yesterday as the campers crossed into camp we were coming up with alternative plans for dinner.  The power in Lincoln County was out and that included all the power here at camp. It's an exciting way to welcome in 120 campers!  We decided to have BBQ for dinner which is what we normally do on the last night.  We talked about having a whole backwards week but since the power came on just a hour before dinner we decided to have camp as usual.  BBQ dinner was a great hit and of course we had Sundae Sundays to wrap up the meal.

Campfire last night provided many laughs; campers doing skits, magic tricks and singing songs.

We got a special treat when the travel camp campers showed up in time for campfire! They had an amazing time on their road trip and shared many stories. 

The Teen Lead and Teen Adventure are packing up now for their overnights. 

Pictures of the session thus far can been viewed on our flickr site here: 

A quote from a camper this morning.
Me: "What is your favorite thing about camp?"
Camper: "I get to make new friends and my mom isn't here to choose who my new friends are."

Campers are learning important skills at camp in a safe environment!

For now,


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mother Child B is over and Travel Camp is on Day 4!

 Our Mother Child Campers are gone and probably all showered and laundry in the was but I bet they are still singing or at least hearing camp songs!  The photos from Mother Child B are beautiful-take a minute to check them out! 

I just heard from our travel campers and here is what Platy reports:

And Travel Camp 2013 is in full swing!!

The first two days were a success. Pulling away from PCC on Sunday, the levels of excitement were high and there was already an easy rapport among everyone in the van. We had an uneventful drive to Maupin during which we played car games and got to know each other. Upon reaching Maupin, we had lunch and then prepared to go rafting. Link used to be a raft guide in Maupin and we were excited to have him take us out on his old guiding route. Before too long, we were heading downstream on the Deschutes River. After three hours (Link did a great job guiding), we stopped at the store, ordered some pizza from the local pizza restaurant, and piled into the van.
We had made reservations at a campground in Mount Hood National Forest but as we drove out of Maupin, realized that our destination was further away than we had energy driving. Instead, we drove back down and found a campsite down on the Deschutes riverfront. All had gone smoothly up until Bertha, (the name we had lovingly chosen for our van), got stuck in the loose gravel driving up to the campsite. After many attempts of digging her out, we were finally able to move her after unpacking her completely – no easy feat. We set up camp despite gusts of wind and soon gathered around to play games that allowed us to get to know each other even better.
Waking up early the next morning, we set off for Smith Rock State Park. A few of us had been to Smith Rock on previous Travel Camp trips, but were never there long enough to explore it. This time, we reached Smith Rock by lunchtime and after eating, set off for a long hike in the hot sun. We were all astounded by the rugged beauty and sheer size of the rocks. We admired the courageous rock climbers clinging to the rocks and slowly made our way to the summit of Smith Rock. Almost four hours later, dusty, thirsty, and inspired, we arrived at our camp and made an amazing macaroni and cheese dinner. Smith Rock always offers a unique camping experience because it is bivouac camping; we chose an awesome campsite overlooking Smith Rock and fell asleep under the stars.
The next day we set off towards Crater Lake, stopping in Bend for lunch and a visit to REI. Late in the afternoon, we arrived at Crater Lake National Park and drove to one of the highest points to take pictures at an epic viewpoint. Even though the sky was overcast, the colors of the lake were brilliant and took our collective breath away. We spent about an hour admiring the lake and then headed to Diamond Lake campground, finding our site tucked away in a beautiful location right on the lake shore. While some went swimming in Diamond Lake with Hoku-our trusty lifeguard, others made dinner and before long, we were eating burgers while admiring an incredible sunset, framed by the mountains and the lake, created by summer skies and the smoke of a wildfire off in the far distance. We ended our night with a value session focusing on the definition of beauty. Everyone was articulate and thoughtful, and the connection throughout the group grew stronger as the night carried on.
Today is day four and we're on our way to California! Tonight we will stay at Hirz Bay on the shore of Lake Shasta and tomorrow we will head to the redwoods! Everyone is having a fantastic time and spirits are high. Ahead we have service projects, a Native American Center, sand dunes, tree climbing, and beautiful sights!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When teen boys are at camp.......

I sat back this morning after flag watching our amazing Unit Assistants this morning as they led songs.  This session of camp we have a group of teen boys.  I noticed that when the teen boys love camp and get into all of the songs and being silly and fully embracing the camp life, the younger boy campers seem to take that as approval and follow suit.  This week we have some really amazing teen boys! They are loving helping upfront singing, they volunteered to lead skits and are helping with interests groups as I type.  They have fully embraced camp!

This week we are also fortunate to have "Boombox" from Girls Inc. here working with our girls.  Today they did some great activities around what it means to be a Smart, Strong and Bold girl. They shared their dreams and hopes.  Tomorrow this same group of girls will put on their engineer hats and use some S.T.E.M skills to build structures with marshmallows! 

The weather is much cooler today and the fog hung over camp but you would never know that since there are still kayaks in the water, arrows flying at targets, kids running around in sand and playing games and even a pack-out sack lunch! 

Here is hoping that the fog will clear and we will have warmer weather tomorrow as the campers will be packing up for their overnight campouts!

You can check pictures here (they get updated daily):

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Belonging at camp

Here we are on the last full day of session 2.  We have enjoyed sunny warm (not hot) days and cool evenings with beautiful sunsets.  Last night we enjoyed the sunset with a beach party and dancing, and the  Teen Adventure 2 campers made it back just in time from surfing to join in.

I have joked a few times this week saying we have a mini United Nations at camp this session, and we could all learn something from watching these campers.  They may not have a common first language but they have found the common language in play, care, compassion and respect.

Today's lunch of grilled cheese, tomato soup, and salad bar will be the fuel for one last day of kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, archery, ocean dipping, singing and playing before we wind down for closing campfire.

We have been blessed to have campers that are refugees from a few countries this week.  At staff meeting last night I asked the staff to throw out words that come to mind when they hear the word "camp".  As you can imagine the, exciting, sandy, exploring, giggling.... Now, think of our refugee campers and what they may have thought or felt when they were told they were going away for a week to "camp".  The room was quiet as staff reflected on the flip side of the meaning of a word we only associate with amazingness. I didn't ask them to reflect to feel guilty, I asked them to reflect so that they could see the opportunity they have had  to replace the meaning of a word with a new experience to associate it with. We are so fortunate at camp to empower children to become strong amazing, confident individuals.

Each camper comes from a place that we as camp staff maybe don't know much about, but what we do know is that we have the opportunity to help them see that they are part of  a bigger community here at ywca Camp Westwind.  We all want to belong somewhere and if you have ever been on staff or a camper at Westwind you know, you belong!
 Happy Fourth of July!
Janette "Pickle"

For more photos of our week: 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Already?

How can it be Thursday already? This week has flown by!

Everyone slept hard last night after dancing our hearts out in the lodge at our black light dance party. 
Highlands and Alpine had a sleep in breakfast in bed where the staff hiked in pancakes and sausage to the campers. 

The Alpine unit packed up sack lunches and set out to kayak across the river and take the day to hike up Cascade Head.  Hoping they will stay dry and maybe even get a glimpse of some sunshine.

Teen Leadership 2 campers are kayaking to Otis up the river and having their lunch there.  This is a tradition that has been going for many years and the campers were anxious to get on the river.

Highlands is setting up for a spa party this afternoon and part of me wonders if this is their way to get the campers to get their feet and hands really clean?!

What a week it has been! So much packed into such a short time.  The staff have worked really hard to make sure they get the campers outside even in the rain.  I am sure campers are going home with luggage that weighs much more than it did coming in thanks to the mixture of sand and rain but what we really hope is that they are coming home with great memories, gained confidence and independence, new friends and songs that they will sing throughout the year!

Thank you for trusting us with your children and for believing in the ywca Camp Westwind program!
See more photos of the week here: