YMCA Overnight Camps: Marston • Surf • Raintree
2019: A Year to Remember
What a year it was! In 2019, we thoroughly enjoyed our first year in the new Camp Marston Dining Hall, while hundreds of campers laid their heads to rest inside six new cabins at Camp Surf. It was an historic year with these two major facility improvements going online.
This year was a double anniversary for our Y Camps. It’s amazing that both Camps Surf and Raintree Ranch were founded in 1969, and we were honored that Valentine Hoy, the YMCA Director at that time, joined us for both events. On a surprisingly frigid day in May, we recognized 50 years of Raintree Ranch. Over 200 campers, alumni and staff joined us on Memorial Day to rekindle friendships and celebrate this wonderful equestrian youth camp. In November, the Camp Surf Beach Party also celebrated 50 years, complete with a history book written by Keith Fargo and Mark Thompson. The first “Stargazers Awards” were presented at the Surf 50th, awarded to Ron Rouse, Jeff Wohler, Keith Fargo and Mark Thompson.
I often hear from parents and campers how impactful a week at camp can be. One mom shared, “When Rochelle got back from camp, she was so excited I did not recognize her. I saw this tan girl with long hair wearing a cap and sunglasses and she was smiling at me. I was confused because she looked like a grown, independent teenager, so I kept looking for my daughter. Finally, she stood in front of me and I looked again, and I recognized her – this was my daughter! I could not believe she looked so different, but very happy. I picked her up at 7 p.m. and it was past 9:30 p.m. and she was still talking about the best time of her life at Camp Marston.”
That’s what we do at YMCA Camp, providing life-changing experiences in the outdoors. As I look at today’s children, glued to electronic screens and facing pressures that I don’t remember from my childhood, I’m so proud to be a part of YMCA Camps Marston, Surf and Raintree Ranch. As the year winds down and we count our many blessings, I am so thankful for our staff, these amazing facilities, and our camper families. We truly are making the world a better place, one child at a time. — Tom Madeyski, District Executive
For more news from camp, see the Pines to Palms newsletter for alumni and friends of YMCA Overnight Camps.