Pines to Palms Alumni News - Fall 2019

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MARSTON | SURF | RAINTREE P 760 765 0642 Volume 1 Issue 7 Fall 2019

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


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. By Tom Madeyski District Executive

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. 2019 was also 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



Alumni, donors, staff, and friends of camp gathered in early November for the Beach Party fund-raiser and to celebrate the 50th year of YMCA Camp Surf. This year the annual event was kicked off with the dedication of Founder’s Flagpole. The campfire area is known as “Pirate’s Cove”, and the flagpole continued with that theme. The actual pole is a wooden yard arm retired form a Navy ship. It sits on the stern of a ship (built by the talented camp facility team), complete with decks, railing, brass bell, ship wheel, and even a cannon ball hole! The ship is named the Stargazer, which is also the name of a prestigious award given by Camp Surf.

YMCA Camp Surf Founders were also recognized by the District Executive for Overnight Camps, Tom Madeyski. . A highlight was seeing Dick Mason and Valentine Hoy reunited at the dedication. Captain Bill Fargo was represented by his son, board member Keith Fargo. All 3 Founders were given the first 3 copies of a new book celebrating the first 50 years of YMCA Camp Surf. The party started with a live band, great food, and a silent auction on the patio of beautiful McKinney Oceanfront Center. Guests later moved inside for dinner, a game of “Heads or Tails”, and a live auction. The event is special. There is nothing like having fun during sunset on the beach to raise money for a great cause! Guests and sponsors raised almost $100,000 to support camper scholarship and camp projects. To be an event sponsor, donate to the auction, or join us next year please contact Steve, the Development Director for Overnight Camping, at By Zayanne Thompson Executive Manager, YMCA Camp Surf

“Stargazers” are individuals who have had significant impact on the growth, development, and success of YMCA Camp Surf. This year four individuals were recognized: Keith Fargo - son of Capt. Bill Fargo, camp historian, long-time board member and past board chair; Jeff Wohler & Ron Rouse – two alumni board members who lead the effort and worked with both legislators and the US Navy to negotiate a 50 year lease for Camp Surf in 1994; and Mark Thompson – who transformed both programs and facility as the longest serving camp director during the first 50 years of YMCA Camp Surf. 2


The History of YMCA Camp Surf - The First 50 years: 1969-2019 is a beautiful picture book that tells the story of camp and outlines events surrounding the people, facility, and programs of Camp Surf. It is available for purchase for $50 (including tax and shipping within the US) by contacting the Camp Surf office at 619-423-5850 or emailing Melissa at

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

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LAST CHANCE FOR THE NEW DINING HALL! The New Dining Hall at YMCA Camp Marston has been a dream to move into. One of our goals in designing and building the new hall was that it would seat more campers, more comfortably, include bathrooms and feel like it had always been a part of camp. The feedback from all of our returning guests has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone that enters does so with a big smile on their face. They exit saying that it feels just like the old one – only SO MUCH BETTER. We still have some last touches that we want to put on the area. We recently purchased an original mining ore cart from one of the local Julian Mines. It dates back to the 1890’s! We are going to incorporate it into our “Marston Mine” theme out in the entrance of the building. The Mine is also an opportunity for you to be part of camp history. We are still offering the chance to purchase one of the engraved stones that are being installed at the mine entrance.



We have had about 50 people purchase commemorative rocks so far. There are already some stones up on the wall surrounding the dark, foreboding entrance to the “Marston Mine”. Your donation of $250, $500 or $1000 goes directly to the Dining Hall construction fund. You can have your name and a quote engraved on one of the rocks for perpetuity, a great way to make your love for camp known for years to come! By Simon Hansen Associate Executive Director, YMCA Camp Marston & Raintree Ranch

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.

Be a part of Camp Marston history!

As you know, we built a new, larger, amazing dining hall. The new dining hall added 80 dining spaces, a large outdoor deck, courtyard and new views to the east through three large dormer/windows.


4” x 8” Brick


8” x 8” Brick

x 12” Brick $1,000 12” LEAD SPONSOR

Deadline to Buy Bricks: 12/31/2019 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.

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