Looking Forward to 2017 – Announcing Camp Dates, Tuition, and Registration Information

[The following is a post from Camp Quest NorthWest volunteer Libbie Grant. – Mike]

Hello, Camp Quest NorthWest families! We recently held our monthly board meeting for November. The meeting had several important items on the agenda, including our board elections and a lengthy discussion about the best ways to facilitate the continued development of Camp Quest NorthWest. It is our priority to continue bringing the very best summer camp experience to our campers.

As we are all aware, demand for Camp Quest NorthWest has increased rapidly. The rapid booking-up of our camp session last January was a big wake-up call for all of us at CQNW. Demand for more camp sessions, combined with the $10,000 budget deficit we incurred for the 2016 session, has necessitated a careful evaluation of our goals, both near-term and in the longer term. We were able to make up our deficit thanks to corporate fundraising, but that is not a tactic we can count on year after year. In order to keep CQNW viable for many years to come we must make the camp itself self-sustaining.

The board held a lengthy brainstorming session searching for the best way to meet this important goal. That discussion culminated at our November board meeting where we agreed on a plan for CQNW’s near future.

We will raise camp tuition prices in 2017 and 2018, stepping up the cost by $100 each year. Tuition in 2017 will be set at $650 per camper. CQNW has not raised tuition prices in five years, so this may come as a surprise. We wanted to announce this change as early as possible to aid your budgeting. Please note that we will not be able to offer early registration or sibling discounts. We will continue to offer our need-based “campership” tuition assistance program; details on camperships are available during registration. We don’t want any camper to miss out on attending camp due to the cost, and we encourage families to consider applying for a campership.

We are very happy to announce that we will offer two camp sessions at Camp Kirby in 2017. The first session is scheduled for June 18-24, 2017, and the second is scheduled for August 13-19, 2017. Camp Kirby is a more affordable site than any other campground that we’ve found in Washington, which has allowed us to keep our costs low over the past five years. Although we all love Camp Kirby, and have an excellent rapport with their owners and staff, our board agrees that it is wisest for CQNW to establish relationships with other campgrounds. Expanding our camp relationships will allow us to continue CQNW even in the face of circumstances beyond our control, such as inclement weather damaging Kirby’s low-lying grounds, and will also give more families around the region better accessibility to our camp. Our gradual increase in tuition will allow us to look towards establishing a relationship with an additional camp location for 2018 and beyond.

Please keep in mind that although we will raise tuition prices by $200 over the next two years, attendance at CQNW will still cost less than average tuition prices for summer camps in Washington State. In large part, we are able to deliver that value to our families because our entire staff consists of volunteers.

Here are some quick facts to keep in mind about this change, as we approach the New Year and registration time:

  • Registration will open on January 2, 2017 at 12:01 AM. We don’t want to make you get up early on New Year’s Day again.
  • Based on our experience with last year’s registration, we will activate the waiting list before we reach our actual limit on enrollments. The wait list is combined with campership applications, and all are processed on a “first in, first out” basis, so it is important to register and/or apply for a campership as early as possible.
  • However, in the case of L.T. campers (teens who have completed 9th grade and will be at least 15 at the start of camp), we may process registrations out of order to ensure that we maintain a robust L.T. program. Our L.T.s are critical in ensuring the continued success of our organization; we don’t want them to get lost in another potentially frantic registration!
  • As we will have two sessions at Camp Kirby this year, we encourage you to keep the following in mind: you may register your camper for both sessions if you want to, but we will not offer discounts on the second session. Programming will also be exactly the same at both sessions. Please keep in mind that demand is high for CQNW, and register your camper accordingly.
  • If your camper has particular friends they want to see at camp, we encourage you to get in touch with those campers’ parents early and plan which session you’ll register your kids for.

Thanks, families! We’re all looking forward to 2017, and are excited to bring your campers another great summer camp experience.

Libbie Grant, board member at large

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“October in November” Board Meeting Update – Elections 2016!

After “Stormpocalypse 2016” forced our regularly scheduled October board meeting to be delayed, we held our October meeting in November instead. We had an incredibly productive meeting, including holding board elections, finalizing and approving the 2017 budget, and finalizing 2017 camp session details. Stay tuned for an important announcement regarding 2017 camp dates and details, and see the bottom of this post for our upcoming “November in December” and “Actual December” Board meeting dates.

2016 Board Elections

The CQNW Board of Directors is pleased to announce the election of three new board members: Kathy Amadio, Libbie Grant and Meg Colburn. Libbie and Meg will serve in the role of Members at Large, while Kathy will hold the position of Treasurer. They join President Chuck Wolber, Vice President Mike Warbington, Secretary Jami Gramore and Members at Large Bridget Lombardo, Paul Mopps and Phil Cole.

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From left to right: Kathy Amadio, Libbie Grant and Meg Colburn.

Incumbent members Chuck, Jami, Mike and Bridget, along with new members Libbie, Meg and Kathy, were elected to two year terms that expire in September 2018. Current members Paul and Phil are currently serving terms set to expire in September 2017.

Next Meeting(s)

The next two board meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th and Tuesday, December 20th, both at the Round Table Pizza in Burien at 6:30 PM.

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September 2016 Board Meeting Update

Meeting Minutes

The September 16th CQNW Board meeting minutes have been posted. You can find them here.

Board Elections

The CQNW Board will be holding elections at the meeting on October 15th, 2016. The CQNW board is comprised of nine board seats, seven of which are up for election this year. Current board members Natalie, Bridget, Jami, Mike and Chuck are up for re-election, and three other volunteers have been nominated to fill vacant positions. The board is also considering expanding from nine to eleven seats, which would open up two additional vacant positions. If you are interested in running for a seat on the board, please contact a current board member or email board@campquestnorthwest.org no later than September 30th.

Quilt Auction

Our CQNW 2016 Quilt Auction has concluded and we are happy to announce that we raised $1,150 for camp! We’d like to send a big thank you to all of our winning bidders, and a special thank you to Sharon whose hard work on designing and creating these quilts made this possible.

Next Meeting

Our next board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 15th, 2016 at 5:00 PM at the Round Table Pizza in Burien (15730 1st Ave S, Burien, WA).

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CQNW 2016 Quilt Auction – UPDATE!

There are just a few days left to put in your bids on these awesome quilts to support Camp Quest NorthWest. Send an email to auction@campquestnorthwest.org with your bid amount, and be sure to include the quilt number!

The fair market value of these quilts is estimated to be $200 for quilt #1 and $150 for quilts #2-6. Any amount that you bid above that value will be tax deductible.

As of today, the current top bids for these quilts are as follows:

  • Quilt #1 – $200
  • Quilt #2 – $250
  • Quilt #3 – $250
  • Quilt #4 – $250
  • Quilt #5 – no bids yet!
  • Quilt #6 – no bids yet!

All proceeds from these quilts will go towards Camp Quest NorthWest programming, camperships, and other camp expenses. Bidding starts at $200 for quilts 5 & 6, and we are still accepting bids on all quilts until midnight, August 31st.

See below for detailed pictures of all six quilts. Remember to bid, and don’t miss this chance to own a unique piece of Camp Quest history!

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Quilt #1 features a unique pattern, including the CQ logo from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 camp t-shirts as well as individual segments painted by campers at our 2015 camp sessions. This quilt measures 38″ square and is valued at $200.

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Quilt #2 features outer-space themed squares painted by CQNW campers set against a purple border. This quilt measures 43.5 inches tall by 34 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #3 features abstract designs painted by Camp Quest campers set against a black and yellow “dragonflies” pattern. This quilt measures 42.5 inches tall by 34 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #4 includes a mix of space themed and abstract designs painted by CQNW campers and features the 2015 camp t-shirt design as a centerpiece, with a patterned border of black, red and gold swirls. This quilt measures 40 inches tall by 31 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #5 features space and planetary themed artwork by Camp Quest Campers with a black and yellow patterned border. Can you spot the time machine hidden in this pattern? This quilt measures 39.5 inches tall by 30.5 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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Quilt #6 includes an assortment of starry night sky and space themed segments set against a white marshmallow border. Can you spot the time machine hidden in this pattern? This quilt measures 44 inches tall by 34 inches wide and is valued at $150.

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CQNW 2016 Camp Session Recap!

[The following is a post from Camp Quest NorthWest volunteer Philip Cole, recapping our recent week spent at camp. – Mike]

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Camp Director Chuck gets ready to introduce the first skit performance of the evening.

The campers have all headed home, Camp Kirby is being boarded up for the off season, and the counselors are slowly getting back to their normal lives.

This year’s theme was Camp Quest NorthWest: School of Wisdom and Wonder, which was very loosely based on a best-selling book series about a school for witches and wizards, and this theme was incorporated into multitude of events and activities.

The week started off with a Sorting and Exploration activity where campers were divided into their house groups by the camp’s own “Sorting Cat.” The campers then had a chance to explore the camp grounds, complete various challenges, and to learn a bit about their house groups and the freethinkers that they were named for, including:

  • House Curieus – Named for chemist Marie Curie and representing the Camp Quest value of critical thinking.
  • House Darwindar – Named for naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin and representing community.
  • House Douglassi – Named for abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass, representing the value of integrity.
  • House Kahlopaw – Named for Frida Kahlo, painter and activist, and representing creativity.
  • House Lee – Named for martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, representing empathy.

Campers were challenged both mentally and physically throughout the week with various activities and competitions. A few activities returned this year: Socrates Café, Marine Biology, and Human Ancestry, but we also brought on many new programs that complimented the camp’s theme. These included Divination, Horoscopes and Telling the Future to teach campers to recognize cold reading techniques, Communicating Through the Aether which gave campers a chance to try out various forms of verbal and non-verbal communication tools, and Invisible Alchemy to teach chemistry led by our very own Camp Director, Chuck Wolber.

Of course, our standard battery of awesome afternoon activities returned as well, including rock wall climbing, archery, kayaking and swimming. We even introduced a new game called Squiddich (think of a combination of dodgeball and capture the flag) that the entire camp enjoyed playing.

Each night we had special all-camp activities that included a talent show, skits, a dance, and a special all camp event that took campers back to the time of the dinosaurs. Some of you may have heard that we brought in a ringer for the evening campfires. In addition to the normal camp songs that are half yelled and half sung off-key, Shelley Segal serenaded both campers and counselors alike with her amazing music. It might have been the only time all week where every camper was quiet at the same time!

We think this was one of the best camp sessions we have had yet and are already hard at work planning next year’s program. There is already a theme proposed for next year, and programming ideas are starting to flow. The board has identified a few options for adding capacity for next season, and details regarding that will be released as soon as they are confirmed.

A large number of you have expressed interest in helping out with Camp Quest. We realize that not everyone can (or wants to) take a week off from work and be a counselor, but that’s not the only way you can help the organization. If you are interested, you can get involved in the following ways:

  1. If you order from amazon.com, point your browser to smile.amazon.com, and select “Camp Quest Inc.” in Federal Way as your charity of choice. 0.5% of your purchase amount will be automatically donated to CQNW, and it won’t cost you a single penny extra.
  2. Come to the board meetings: The board meetings are always open to the public, and dates are posted on the website in the meeting minutes. We meet at the Round Table Pizza in Burien, WA, and our next meeting is scheduled for September 15th at 6:30 PM.
  3. Volunteer to be on a committee. We have formed many committees in the past year, in an effort to spread the work out more evenly. There is the staffing committee, which interviews and vets prospective counselors; the grants committee, which decides how to distribute camperships and travel grants; and the programming committee, which is responsible for coming up with just about all of the planned activities your campers participate in at camp. We are always looking to expand the number of volunteers involved in these committees. The time commitment is up to you and may be as little as 10 hours per year.
  4. Attend the programming retreat. Every winter, we gather for a weekend away that is full of fun and planning, where we develop the programming, try out new activities, and generally have a good time. All are welcome, as long as you come willing to work!
  5. Of course, no list asking for help would be complete without mentioning that cash donations are always accepted, and needed! We are a registered 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Thank you to all of you who have supported Camp Quest Northwest, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to meet your campers and watch them grow up.

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