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Welcome Back

Camp Wa-Klo—Where Alums Feel as If They Never Left

Time and time again, we hear from alumni that setting foot back on Pine Drive feels like coming home. Although the faces change, Wa-Klo remains a place where girls are empowered to be confident and independent while building lifelong friendships. Walking through camp, you’ll see campers in green and white singing, swimming, dancing, and having fun just as they have since 1938.
Since Tammy became director in 2016, Camp Wa-Klo has made it a priority to analyze our traditions. We realized that some past camp traditions were perpetuating harmful stereotypes and appropriating Indigenous American cultures.
A committee of campers, parents, and current and former staff was called together to solve this problem. Many hours were spent diving into the mission and value of our traditions to pinpoint what was important about each one. Through this process we realized that the appropriation of Indigenous culture did not aid or supplement the values behind the traditions—celebrating growth, empowerment, independence, and community. We then spent time adapting what we could and creating new traditions that kept the heart of what made Wa-Klo Wa-Klo.
At the start of the summer, our campers are split into two teams, Green and White. Each team is led by two CAPs (Caring, Accepting People) who are Upper Pioneers elected by the campers. This new name was created by one of our campers and ties directly into the values we expect team leaders to uphold.
On Fridays, the teams compete at Camp Fire and songs and dances are performed. The daily log and nature reports continue to be a staple of these events. Campers still earn beads for their improvement in activities, which encourages them to focus on their own growth rather than compare themselves to others. Each camper is celebrated as an important member of the Wa-Klo community.
On Sundays, the whole camp comes together to play Team Games like five corners and capture the football. Team Games at Wa-Klo focus not only on competition but on sportsmanship. We continue to value cheering on the other team, playing fair, and sharing the field with campers of all ages and backgrounds.

Photograph of senior campers dressed for campfire wearing their beads.

You can see that these traditions maintain and uphold our values, but no longer use themes drawn from stereotypes of Indigenous American cultures.
Although there are changes, the heart of Wa-Klo remains the same. Wa-Klo will always be a place that values connections, fair play, bravery, and love. We still end our Sundays with a quiet night of Reflections, hosted by a different age group each week; we herald in almost every morning with reveille (except when it’s Bummer’s Breakfast!); and we end each competition, hand in hand, singing “Friends”.
We hope to see you back again in Our Little Corner of the World. Please use the links below to find us on Facebook or register as an Alumni.

Facebook Page

Join our facebook page “Camp Wa-Klo Alumni” to be kept up-to-date with what’s happening in the Wa-Klo world. Don’t miss the next reunion or the latest Wa-Klo announcement. We love all of our alums, and we look forward to our next Camp Fire together.