Lake of the Woods, Aspen Campground

Day 3 - YMCA Camp DeBoer

Yesterday we toured YMCA Camp DeBoer. This camp is currently under construction and is planned to open during the 2020 summer season. We were greeted by Lisa Molner and Kelsey Rittenhouse when we arrived. Lisa is the former CEO of the Ashland family YMCA, and used to work at the Jones Gulch YMCA camp in the San Fransisco.  She’s staying on as the project manager at DeBoer until the new camp opens. Kelsey is a program director from the Ashland Family YMCA in Oregon.

We learned that this site used to be a Girl Scout camp for over 40 years, though it was slowly used less and needed new owners. Local to the Lake of the Woods area, Karen DeBoer saw so much potential at this camp because the lakeside community thrives. She generously decided to buy the land and donated an additional major gift to begin planning and building the new YMCA camp. The site is currently under construction, but they have huge plans for their 22-acre property.

We toured their partially-completed buildings including the main dining hall, director housing, and a few camper cabins. The camp shared with us that they will be able to support a max of 140 campers per session! They have initial ideas to offer two separate types of camp during each session, such as teen camp and a boating camp at the same time. Their goal is to revitalize the community and give opportunities for people of all backgrounds and ages.

During the tour, we learned that Dan Crocker, the new CEO of the Ashland Family YMCA, was once the summer camp director at YMCA Camp Seymour. As a thank you to Lisa, we gave her some Seymour stickers, a lanyard, and an Expo group photo to show that we really care about the time she spent out of her day to show us the huge plans for this awesome new camp.

After the tour, we drove down the road and across the lake to the Aspen campground in Klamath Falls. Check out the photo of our epic view of the lake! We set up camp together, then split up and took some time to go figure out the area while dinner was being made. After dinner, we made use of the awesome lake we were camping around and went swimming. We then wound down our night with a chill talk and headed to bed.

Mia is on deck for the Day 4 blog post, stay tuned for more! 

— Alex

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