We’re thrilled to share with you these words from alumni Joanna Cerar, former Camp Fire member, Camp Sealth Camper, staff member, and now, board member for Camp Fire Central Puget Sound. She’s teaming up with us to launch a newly revitalized Alumni Committee and shares twelve ways to get involved with Camp Sealth! Don’t miss our upcoming Alumni Day during staff training on June 26, or our new Adopt-a-Staff program to send some love to our current summer staffers.
Show of hands, please – who gets all warm and fuzzy when they come across an old camp photo? And who feels like they’re coming home as soon as they turn down the camp road? Do you have camp friends who you haven’t seen in forever, but the years melt away when you get in touch? Yeah? Me, too.
If you’re reading this, Camp Sealth likely holds a special place in your heart. You’ve probably participated in multiple ways, maybe as a camper, club member, staff member, volunteer, parent of a camper, or in another role. What will your next step be? As I’ve gained a few decades, I’ve come to really appreciate how we can keep returning to Sealth. I started as a club member and camper, later returning to work summers during college, then directed summer programs. More recently, I’ve attended the CampOut adult weekend and spring service days. My nieces are campers. This year, I joined the council’s board of directors. I can’t think of many organizations that welcome back members in so many different ways.
Engaging as alumni feels good. The centennial celebration last fall was a beautiful, sunny day at camp. Smelling the salt air again, while catching up with friends made for a special day. The last few years have definitely reinforced the importance of personal connections like that. Being a part of camp with other alumni has helped me feel grounded – even as other parts of life felt unpredictable. For many of us, Sealth is always a safe space, and we trust the deep friendships built there.
As alumni, we can share the perspectives of past, present, and future. Reconnecting with camp friends and activities rekindles happy memories and keeps the history of Sealth alive. Alumni and their families can also experience Sealth’s current programs, and support campers and staff in many ways (ideas below!). And then there’s the future. Especially now, Sealth is inviting alumni to help shape camp for our next generations.
So many of us want to give back to a place that did so much for us. Now is a great time to be involved! Building on decades of alumni activities, Sealth is working on new ways to make alumni involvement accessible to everyone, regardless of things like your location or time constraints. What does it mean to be Sealth alumni these days? Make it what you want it to be. If you’re short on time, choose quick ways to connect. Or if your schedule allows, consider coming out to camp or joining a committee. There are many other options, too. Here’s a list of a dozen ways to get active as an alum!
- Update your contact info. Does Camp Fire have your current address, email and phone number? Alumni updates will be coming out more frequently, so be sure you’re able to get them.
- Take the survey. The alumni survey is live on the alumni Facebook page. Your answers will guide the development of future alumni programming.
- Follow on social. Sealth is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. See what’s going on at camp – and on Facebook also catch some throwback photos and memories. An easy way to help is to also boost content: like, comment, and share posts!
- Sign up for the newsletter. Designed especially for alumni, newsletters will include current camp news, as well as updates from other alumni and space to share memories and photos. (They may also evolve into a group webpage for alumni … stay tuned!) If you’d like to share photos or write an article, contact Carrie.
- Adopt A Staff. This new program pairs alumni with 2022 summer camp staff. The alumni will create care packages for their staff, to be delivered midsummer. You can send your package from anywhere in the world!
- Join a committee. Alumni are invited to join one of these groups: Alumni, Equity Action Fund Advisory Group, and Cultural Appropriation. We’d like to have a variety of perspectives, so don’t be shy. And no sweat if you live far away – participants can join virtually.
- Attend alumni events. Up next is Alumni Day on June 26, with other options during the summer. And the September Campout (finally back!) always has lots of alumni mini-reunions.
- Give service. Spring and fall service days are great opportunities to help out around camp, while also seeing some familiar faces.
- Involve the whole family. In addition to summer camp and school year programs, Sealth hosts family events like Fall Family Camp, You & Me Camp, and Special Families Weekend.
- Pick a project. Do you see a need or have a skill to share? Join a project team or create your own. Talk to Carrie for details!
- Lend your financial support. Alumni are always welcome to donate to Sealth. You can use the form on the website anytime. Or contribute to the alumni campaign coming later this year.
- Mark your calendars. To help make planning easier, we’re working on an annual activities/events calendar. Keep an eye out for the 2023 calendar this fall.
More than half of these can be done from anywhere!