From left, YMCA president and CEO Bob Ecklund, Deanna Dally, Ray Dally and Jim Carmichael break ground for the new dining facility at Camp Seymour. Photo by Ed Johnson


New construction at Camp Seymour started Aug. 27 and is expected to be completed in time for next summer. Regular scheduled programs will continue as they are until then.

YMCA Community Relations Director Renee Gaudreau said that for nearly 100 years, the Camp Seymour dining hall has served as a community space for campers, families and groups.

“In the current dining hall, campers had to eat in three shifts. The new space will allow the 350 campers to all eat at once indoors,” Gaudreau said.

Campers and parents will enjoy campfires and build memories in a new covered amphitheater, and accommodations for participants with disabilities will be much larger than currently available.

In a recent press release, Gaudreau said that with more area schools bringing students to the Outdoor Environmental Education program, the Y is eager to continue serving the community.

Private donations and foundation grants have totaled about $2.4 million and are getting close to the $2.5 million overall goal to fund the dining hall. The release said that anyone can donate to the campaign and have their name inscribed on something memorable. The options are $250 for a small brick, $500 for a medium brick, $1,000 for a large brick, $2,500 for an amphitheater bench and $5,000 for a picnic table.

The YMCA camp teaches self-reliance, a love for nature and the outdoors, and the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership — all amid the fun of campfires, bugle calls, canoeing, archery, talent shows and meaningful relationships. Y counselors are dedicated to making sure camp is an amazing experience for every camper, according to the organization.

“We welcome community support and questions and conversations about the project,” Gaudreau said.

For information, contact Gaudreau at (253) 534-7800 or email