Resident Camping was pioneered by the YMCA in 1885 and still remains a leader in the field today.  As you know, camping is a unique and wondrous world of new experiences, making new friends and having fun.  At the same time, these learning experiences build character in our young people.  Building this model is an art form.  “Things don’t just happen, you make them happen.”

Over the years, a number of key individuals have spent their careers painting a vision and shaping a model that inspires others to follow them, and support them, in designing and running camping experiences that truly touch and change the lives of children and staff.  These pioneers set the direction and the leaders in the movement today are fueling the fire and fanning the flames for a brighter tomorrow.

The YMCA was influential in the Boy Scout movement and history can be traced to link day camping with this influence in the early 1900’s.  YMCA Day Camping was well rooted in the late 60’s and thrives today.  While day camping may miss the full impact that residence camp has nurtured, day camping has a much bigger opportunity to influence more children, and families, and offers an opportunity to introduce youth to the residence camping movement through a progressive day-resident relationship.

Both day and resident have massive commitment in leadership, vision and inspiration.  Both are rooted in tradition and follow the YMCA Mission.

The “Legends in Camping” Award recognizes those individuals who have been integral in shaping the camping experience and model, as we know it today.  We honor them for the work they have done and the vision they have given us for the future.

1995      Ron Kinnamon – South Field Executive:  YMCA of the USA

1996      Bill Climer – Camp Thunderbird

1997      Judy Bright – Camp Seafarer

1998      Tom Massey – Program Development-Camp Big MAC & Character Development

1999      “Pops” Pearson – Athens YMCA Camp; Monk Mulligan – Camp Greenville; Wyatt & Lil Taylor – Camp Seagull and Camp Seafarer

2000      Ron Austin – Camp Cheerio

2002    Marti Stegall – Day Camp Movement- Harris YMCA-YMCA of Greater Charlotte

2003    Luther Marchant – Camp Seagull

2004    Don Cheek – Camp Seagull

2005    Al Reinken – Camp Eagle Rock, Siskey YMCA – YMCA of Greater Charlotte

2010    Gary Forster – Former YUSA Senior Camping Consultant

2015    Greg McKee — Camp Greenville

2018   Clark Baker — YMCA of Middle Tennessee and YMCA of Greater Houston