A JOINT RESOLUTION honoring the one HUNDRED twenty‑fifth anniversary of ymca camping.
Whereas, founded in London, England in 1844, the YMCA's mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all; and
Whereas, at the heart of community life across America, mission‑driven YMCAs are a place to belong and to live the values that guide and unite its members with caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility; and
Whereas, in 1867, the YMCA became involved in camping, when a Vermont youth director took a group of teens to Lake Champlain in New York for summer encampment; and
Whereas, by 1882, enough YMCAs were holding youth and adult camping that the activity was included in national records as "outings and excursions"; and
Whereas, Sumner Dudley, a volunteer with New York and New Jersey YMCAs, is credited with starting the first continuously used camp to help build character in young men; in 1885, he took seven teenagers for a week's encampment at Orange Lake, New York; and
Whereas, the first YMCA camps were small, consisting of a cluster of tents, lined up near a lake, a continuous fire and a flagpole; led by a YMCA director and aided by volunteer male leaders, the camps were regimented programs that included training the boys in character, good health habits, and respect for each other; and
Whereas, over the years, as more YMCAs believed the camping experience nurtured young people's values and leadership skills, camps would expand and change to serve males and females of many ages, abilities, and incomes; and
Whereas, by 1905, the number of YMCA campers had grown to 6,348 in 187 YMCA camps; in 1910, YMCA leaders helped create the American Camping Association (ACA) with YMCA camp director Charles Scott as its first president; and
Whereas, as society evolved, YMCA camps branched out; in the early 1900s, Columbus, Ohio's Camp Wilson offered a Fitness Week for men; Cleveland had an excursion camp, teaching history while leading trips through Ohio in covered wagons; by 1938, the Wilshire‑Beverly YMCA in Los Angeles reported 191 coeds in its winter camp; and
Whereas, the most significant development since the start of the YMCA camping came in 1932; when day camps began to nurture the same character‑building skills in kids that resident camps did; by the mid‑1900s, camp leaders were encouraging campers to help make program decisions and set and reach individual goals; and
Whereas, today, YMCA camps spread from the shore of Maine to the peaks of the Colorado Rockies to the northwest branches of Hawaii; more than 335 residents camps and nearly 2,000 day camps serve more than 800,000 kids and adults every summer; each year an additional 1.5 million people participate in camp programs through YMCA family camps, weekend retreats, outdoor education, and school camping; and
Whereas, in addition, the YMCA employs over 61,000 college‑aged young adults as summer resident camp leaders each year providing exceptional leadership development experiences; and
Whereas, day and resident camping are the cornerstone of YMCA programs, building character and memories in such effective ways that key YMCA volunteers and donors often point back to their YMCA camp experiences as their primary emotional tie to the YMCA today; and
Whereas, camp is not only about the fun activities, but also about the chance for children to develop and learn new skills, enjoy nature, handle new responsibilities, experience independence, make new friends, and build memories that last a lifetime; and
Whereas, the YMCA camping programs have greatly enriched the quality of life of the citizens of the State of North Carolina by making available the opportunity to enjoy exceptional recreational facilities, including the following resident camps:
Camp Thunderbird (Charlotte YMCA), Lake Wylie, SC.; and
Whereas, the 125th anniversary of YMCA camping is worthy of recognition and celebration; Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly expresses its appreciation to the YMCA for providing outstanding resident camps for the youth in this State and congratulates the organization on 125 years of YMCA camping.
SECTION 2. The General Assembly honors the memory of those who helped to establish YMCA camps in North Carolina, including Wyatt Taylor, founder of Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer.
SECTION 3. The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy to each of the resident camps located in North Carolina.
SECTION 4. This resolution is effective upon ratification.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 9th day of July, 2010.