YMCA Breaks Ground to Build New Camp Pavilion

The YMCA of Rock River Valley will have a new pavilion at Camp Winnebago to serve an additional 80 children a week.  Ground has been broken to construct the new pavilion, which will open for summer camp in 2019. In June, the Y asked for community support in raising funds to build the new pavilion as part of a donor match challenge.

Through the support of the Scott and Virginia Webster Charitable Trust, Camp Winnebago received a $125,000 gift to help build the pavilion. The Webster Trust challenged Camp Winnebago to match their gift, meaning that every gift that was given was doubled by the Trust. The community answered our call for action and support. The total cost of the project is $360,000, which is funded through many donations including other generous gifts from The Atwood Foundation, The Rowe Family Innovation Trust and a gift in the name of “Baby” Zayde. 

The pavilion serves as a home base for campers during their time at camp. Children spend the day exploring camp with their counselors, but they come back to the pavilion to eat, play games and seek shelter. The pavilion will include a professionally rated storm shelter.

YMCA Camp Winnebago is a magical place where curiosity is nurtured, children explore and make new friends, and the Y values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith are instilled in each camper. Unfortunately, each year dozens of children are placed on a waiting list each week for Camp Winnebago and do not get to experience the magic of camp. The Y will now get to expand its capacity to serve more children and families.

“We are so humbled by our community’s outpouring of support, particularly our camp families who collectively donated two-thirds of the matching challenge goal,” said Bif Buchan, District Executive, YMCA Camp Winnebago. “We see this gesture of support as an endorsement of our program. We strive to give children a sense of achievement, belonging and friendship. We are excited to open our Camp to even more children next year.”

The pavilion foundation will be laid next week and the structure could go up before the first heavy snowfall. The Y will hold a ribbon-cutting event in the spring before it opens for summer camp in 2019. The pavilion was designed by Hagney Architects and is being built by Schmeling Construction.