History

An Abbreviated History of Washtenaw Camp Placement
Celebrating Over 50 Years of Camping

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1960  The Group Work and Recreation Division of the Bureau of Community Services of the Ann Arbor Area United Fund met on January 21. The recently completed “Camping Study” was discussed. On May 5, a newly formed Camping Committee met for the first time.

1961  On March 24 the Community Camp Committee (CCC) met for the first time, chaired by City Manager Guy C. Larcom, Jr.

1962  Lois Chance was hired to run CCC and ably oversaw the selection of the first group of campers; 114 were selected from 150 applications.

1963  Committees met in the United Fund office in the Municipal Court Building downtown.

1967   The Toledo YMCA requested information on the program, resulting in a long and beneficial relationship with Storer Camps in Jackson County. PTOs and Kiwanis were funders.

1969   Current Board member Judy Mohr’s name first appears in the October minutes, along with Molly Dobson’s.

1970  Clark Ewing, Director of YMCA Storer Camps, and Marilyn Ewing attended the October meeting. Lois Chance was commended and a title change to Staff Director was accompanied by a raise.

1973  Mary DeLancey was president and youngsters attended one of nine different camps. The name changed to Community Camp Placement, a Program of the Washtenaw United Fund.

1974  Meetings were held at the new United Fund offices on Platt Rd; Lois had part-time summer help.

1975  Judy Mohr, Fran Nelson and Haskell Rothstein incorporated CCC as an independent charitable organization named Washtenaw Camp Placement Association.

1976  The Bicentennial year, and the only year since 1971 that day camp was provided.

1978  Virginia Hayes succeeded Lillian Hay and Jo Rudelich as Director; Lois left five years earlier to work full-time at the United Way.

1983  Jeanette Okuley was hired as Executive Director, a position she held until 2010.

2012  Fiftieth Anniversary. A total of 9,270 camperships had been awarded in the first fifty years!

After delving into the archives, one is reminded of the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Although a printer/copier/scanner/fax and the internet have replaced mimeographs and spirit duplicators, many concerns are unchanged from fifty years ago, including being better known, having adequate funds, maintaining a cadre of loyal volunteers, and continuing to have relationships with partner camps in order to provide positive life-changing experiences for children.