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 Interesting infomation for alumni, parents and campers. Discover Winnataska's 96 year history, and learn how to volunteer. Click here.


Three Cheers for Volunteers!

If you are the parent of a camper that is new (er) to Winnataska, you probably know that Winnataska is very proud of its history! As you read the historical plaque at the front gate, or browse through the website, some facts might catch your attention - Our 100th anniversary is quickly approaching, for example.

But here's one fact that I have only discovered myself in the past few years, even though I know a great deal about Winnataska. The more that I learn about Winnataska, the more that I have realized camp's success is based on this. The little-known fact is revealed here:  Volunteers keep Winnataska thriving!

Pictured above are the recipients of our first-annual awards ceremony at the celebration picnic held at camp in August.  I'd like to introduce them in this blog format, because honestly, they are usually working behind the scenes at camp and you might not have a chance to meet them otherwise.

Pictured left is Jim Thorington, who was recognized for his outstanding guidance or supervision during this particular year in overseeing activities, programs, and/or the mission of Camp Winnataska. This particular award was named the King Arthur Volunteer Leadership Award.  Parents of Chicos, we all have Jim to thank for installing the glorious new industrial fans in the ceiling of the huts on Chico Hill. This is just one example of the many things that Jim has being doing around camp!

Second from left is the Program Director Blake Huynh. Blake has served camp in many ways, but this was his first summer as Program Director. He brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the job that he received the Spirit of Winnataska award.

Pictured in the middle is life-long volunteer Bill Jordan, and far right is Forrest Brice.  David Etheredge is not pictured here, but wherever you find Bill and Forrest at camp, you will find David as well.  These three fearless former Blackfeet have tackled many projects over the years, but most recently they have left their mark at camp by redoing the Hillside speaker platform and working on the new Wayside cross.

Second from the right is Kenny Williamson Keith, who has supported Winnataska in numerous ways over the past few decades. Her love for horses has helped to make our horse program strong, and she donates her professional time to camp very generously. Bill, Forrest, David, and Kenny were all recipients of the The Great Chief Distinguished Service Award, which is presented annually to a volunteer or volunteers in recognition of outstanding contributions over a period of time to enrich the camp through working on facilities or property, or other specific projects. This award is given to individuals or teams who have been working in a volunteer capacity over many years in the service of the Winnataska.

These fine folks are part of the Winnataska family.  They are just a few shining examples of the literally hundreds of alumni who volunteer their time, talents, and good old-fashioned sweaty hard work! Recent summer camp closings in and around Alabama in the past few years remind me that summer camps are complicated ventures, not inexpensive to keep up, and must have a support net in today's economy. Fortunately those who love Winnataska are working hard to provide that support net for many future generations of campers.  Again, I say with great gusto and heartfelt thanks - Three cheers for volunteers!

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