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MARSTON | SURF | RAINTREE P 760 765 0642 Volume 1 Issue 4 Winter 2018/19

A newsletter for Alumni & Friends of YMCA OVERNIGHT CAMPS - MARSTON | SURF | RAINTREE

secured from Camp Pendleton to construct the three railed pipe corral which was welded by Jim Butler, Camp Surf Manager. Furthermore, Jeff Wohler and Ed Greaves poured cement for the Tack House which was constructed with assistance from Adventure Guide dads. Later that summer, wrangler Louise Pettit assisted both equestrian programs with thirteen leased horses at Raintree and twelve used in the youth program at Camp Marston, which was its last season to have horses.


The summer of 2019 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the purchase of YMCA Raintree Ranch. In the summer of 1972, Jeff Wohler took on the assignment of Backpacking Unit Director at YMCA Camp Marston. Working with 10-12 year old boys, he demonstrated his expertise on the trail and served as a role model to all campers. Later that fall, planning began to develop YMCA Raintree Ranch as an equestrian/backpacking camp. Jeff’s experiences in the field made him a natural fit to lead the program. He hired Terry Bucknum, Gregg Herreman, Karen Gustin, and Barbara Bunkowsky as expedition counselors in the inaugural Raintree Ranch Expedition Program. Campers worked with horses five days and were trail blazers the other five days. They slept in large tents and cooked their meals in the campsite around the chuck wagon. In April of 1973, Fred Slaughter, Julian local, graded the Raintree property putting in three corrals and a riding ring. Pipe was

A parent described the 1973 Raintree Ranch Expedition: “Dear Sir: My daughter, Victoria, returned home last week from Raintree Ranch with one major complaint---the session ended too soon! Her enthusiasm for the experience prompts me to thank you for offering such an excellent program for her age group. Although Victoria had gone on family camping trips and had hiked, she had never she had never been away to camp or backpacked before. She admired and enjoyed each of the counselors, who obviously provided excellent nature instruction as well as being fun to live with under primitive conditions. You are to be congratulated for choosing such an excellent staff to supervise the campers. I hope sessions at Raintree Ranch will be offered again next year. Victoria will undoubtedly be among the first to sign up. With best wishes.” Jeff was also instrumental in extending the 1994 lease agreement between the YMCA of San Diego (Camp Surf), and the Department of the Navy. Jeff worked with numerous committees and congressmen to ensure the details and process was in place to extend the lease for 50 years, an unprecedented extension. This lease has allowed Camp Surf to significantly invest and improve its facilities. There are few people who distinguish themselves in YMCA service across all Camp programs over many decades like Jeff Wohler. He also received the Golden Triangle of Distinguished Service from the YMCA of San Diego County in 1997 and continues to serve the Raintree Ranch Camp Program each summer as a volunteer equestrian trainer for the staff and wranglers. Thank you Jeff for all you’ve done for YMCA Camping past, present, and future! By Edward R. Greaves, Ed.D Camp Historian


Since the move-in, we’ve only become happier with the result. It is warm and comfortable. There’s plenty of space. The rooflines are distinctive, both inside and out. The acoustics are excellent, even with large groups. The deck is stunning and will no doubt become a favorite spot for meals and fellowship. There is a built-in projector, screen and sound system. Best of all, we actually have restrooms in the building (what a concept!).

I happened to be walking into the dining hall earlier this week, just as four teachers from Sage Canyon Elementary (Del Mar) entered. It was their first time in the amazing new dining hall, and what a moment it was! “It’s a beautiful building, so much bigger, great design, incredible improvement!” are some of the comments I heard. It’s going to be a lot of fun over the next year as thousands of campers, teachers, Adventure Guides and alumni walk in to the new Marston dining hall for their first time. Officially, we received our Certificate of Occupancy on December 17, 2018. For the history books, the first meal served was a staff lunch on Friday December 21st; the first group served were the Navy Sea Cadets.

I’m so proud of how YMCA Camp Marston has changed over the years. With the generosity of folks like Bill Carstens, the Dan McKinney family, Eugene, Joan and Mark Foster, Margaret Cargill Philanthropies and many more individual donors, Marston has morphed into a premiere camp. We’ll be having some fun this spring as we install signage, theme enhancements, access pathways, acquire furnishings and more. We’re planning the Dedication Ceremony to coincide with our annual Alumni Day. Please mark your calendars for Saturday, June 15, 2019. Consider joining us for a fun-filled Alumni Day capped off by the dedication of this wonderful new structure. And who knows, on your next visit, maybe I’ll enjoy watching your reaction seeing the new Marston dining hall for the first time :). By Tom Madeyski District Executive


LET’S BUILD A NEW DINING HALL! Be a part of Camp Marston history! As you know, we are building a new, larger, amazing dining hall. The new dining hall will add 80 dining spaces, a large outdoor deck, courtyard and new views to the east through three large dormer/windows.


Would you like to be a part of this transformational project? We’re setting aside an area of the outdoor courtyard for special personalized bricks, which you can participate in. Here’s a chance to contribute and memorialize your family name, positive message, or even add a short quote.


4” x 8” Brick


8” x 8” Brick

x 12” Brick $1,000 12” LEAD SPONSOR


Here’s 3 ways you can get involved: 1. Give a Gift - the Annual Campaign is the lifeblood of the YMCA and provides opportunities for everyone to participate regardless of their ability to pay. All donations are taxdeductible and go 100% to scholarships. You can make a gift at selecting the branch/camp where you’d like your donation to go. 2. Become a Campaigner – We can’t raise $230,000 alone and we need your help. Volunteering to be a campaigner is easy, you get to talk about how great the camp experience is and how important it is for youth development, especially in the disconnected technological world we live in today. As a campaigner you’ll have your own campaigner page (see mine at where you can personalize the message, set a goal, and have an easy portal for those you connect with to give.

Greetings Camp Alumni & Friends, We are getting ready to kick off the 2019 Annual Campaign. As most of you know this campaign raises funds to provide camp scholarships to those families who are less fortunate and unable to afford it. Last year with the help of over 300 benevolent donors and 75 campaign volunteers, YMCA Overnight Camps (Marston, Surf, Raintree) provided 600 scholarships to campers in need. Our goal this year is $230,000 which 100% goes towards camper scholarships. The theme for this year’s campaign is Building Community as the YMCA is celebrating its 175th birthday in 2019!


3. Recruit Alumni - You’d be surprised how many people don’t know the YMCA is a 501©3 charity providing financial assistance to those who need it. Maybe you’re unable to give or campaign this year but you know someone who loves camp and the benefits that come from character building, friendship making, and life-changing outdoor experiences. As Camp Alumni you are uniquely positioned to spread the news and recruit others to get involved who are passionate about the life-long positive impact of camp. Please contact me if you are interested in supporting the campaign or want to learn more about camp fundraising opportunities. Thank you so much for your consideration and continued support. We look forward to seeing you at and alumni event in 2019! By Steve Morris Development Director





21st Century life skills are not taught in school: New Core Curriculum does not measure collaboration, creativity, initiative, leadership or responsibility; skills that are taught extensively at summer camp.

Childhood has moved indoors. The average American boy or girl spends just four to 7 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day, and more than 7 hours each day in front of an electronic screen.

Access to Safe Outdoor Spaces (Camp) for all: Getting kids back outside is an important societal issue that affects children of all races & socio-economic levels throughout San Diego County.

The Y’s Response

Camp builds community, teaches independence, and how to contribute to a group while engaging in physical, social and educational activities.

The Y’s Response

Being unplugged at camp helps over 14,000 children develop emotional self-control & critical thinking skills while reducing anxiety & depression.

Three quality overnight camps. No child is turned away due to inability to pay. Last year 586 children received a summer camp scholarship.



Outdoor access & play increases fitness levels & builds active, healthy bodies, a strategy to help the 1 in 3 American kids who are obese get fit.

Children become part of a group at camp, sharing responsibilities and learning teamwork, accountability, and integrity.

Exposure to environment-based education significantly increases student performance on tests of their critical thinking skills.


The Y’s Response


If you haven’t already registered as a Camp Alumni please do so at our NEW webpage: 3

PINES TO PALMS | MARSTON | SURF | RAINTREE A big hug and special thank you to our facility team for their incredible contribution to this project. Not only did they support the contractors keeping costs low during site development, they added many of the unique features that make these modular cabins feel like camp. Led by Mark Carrick, Director of Facilities, the team constructed all decks, walkways, benches, and steps. They installed 96 interior lights (12 exterior), baseboards, and surf racks. They also added shiplap siding to all bunk walls, refinished closets, and built shelving units for each bunk (a total of 284 shelves!). As an extra special feature, they refinished the original bunk ladders from the old cabins and installed them in the new ones!

ALL ABOARD! Building the Future Our teens could not have been more excited! After two years of hearing the youngest campers rave about the newest cabins at Camp Surf, our summer teen program finally got to enjoy an amazing new teen village. The 6 brand new cabins officially went online June 17th 2018 and were literally finished the day before the start of the summer session! The SOUL Surfers (our teen leadership campers) moved into 2 cabins along Fargo Way. These cabins have views in all directions around camp. At the end of the road stands a crescent of 4 new cabins facing the wetlands, connected by what has become affectionately known as the “super deck”. This area is perfect for our Beachcomber teen campers. Our teens also played a role in finishing the design of the village. The Beachcombers provided feedback on their needs and the SOUL campers helped our facility team with some of the finishing touches including building steps, wooden decks, outdoor rinse showers, dry lines, assembling picnic tables, and building a brick fire ring.

The 6 new cabins were officially dedicated on November 3rd 2018 at the annual Beach Party Fundraiser. A large group of camp volunteers, staff, and supporters gathered to thank and recognize the generous donors who made this project possible. Those benevolent contributors included the David C. Copley Foundation, J.W. Sefton Foundation, the Dan & Vi McKinney Family, and the County of San Diego Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. At the dedication we enjoyed an invocation by Imperial Beach Methodist Church Pastor John Griffin-Atil, heard remarks from the camp directors, and toured inside the beautiful new cabins. Afterwards everyone moved from the dedication to our cruise ship themed fundraiser where over $50,000 was raised to support future facility projects and camper scholarships. If you missed this wonderful event don’t dismay. You’re invited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Camp Surf with us on November 1-3rd 2019! By Zayanne Thompson Executive Manager, YMCA Camp Surf

STAY CONNECTED It’s never been easier to keep in touch with camp news, camp friends, and find out about all the alumni events happening throughout the year! Find us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram & YouTube

We’re social.


You Tube

@ymcacampmarston @ymcaraintreeranch @ymcacampsurf

and of course there’s always.... OUR MISSION The YMCA of San Diego County is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind, and body.

UPCOMING 2019 EVENTS: Raintree Ranch 50th Anniversary Celebration - May 27th, 2019 Camp Marston Alumni Day and Dining Hall Dedication – June 15th, 2019 Family Fun Day - May 5th, 2019 Camp Surf 50th Anniversary Celebration – November 1-3rd, 2019 We hope to see you at one of these events or hear from you soon!

Profile for YMCA San Diego

Pines2Palms - Winter 2019  

A newsletter for Alumni & Friends of YMCA Overnight Camps YMCA CAMP MARSTON YMCA CAMP SURF YMCA RAINTREE RANCH

Pines2Palms - Winter 2019  

A newsletter for Alumni & Friends of YMCA Overnight Camps YMCA CAMP MARSTON YMCA CAMP SURF YMCA RAINTREE RANCH


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