The Snoqualmie Valley YMCA will be adding some new outdoor education and recreation space starting this summer called Camp Keller. The new camp will be situated on 40-acres of land located about two miles down Tokul Road. The land is pretty heavily forested with Tokul Creek running through it, but has a large open area along with space for parking and bus drop-offs.
Camp Keller is named in honor of the Keller family which has a deep historical connection to the Y. Harold Keller was the second executive director of the old Snoqualmie YMCA located in the mill town of Snoqualmie Falls. He served from approximately 1942-1967. Harold’s son Ward Keller, who died in June 2018, worked at the old YMCA/community center as a child and served as an original board member for the new Y when it opened in 2012.
According to Snoqualmie Valley Y Executive Director Nate Smith, the new camp will not be a Camp Terry 2.0, as it is still in its infancy. The land has a water well source, but not buildings like popular Camp Terry in Preston – although there are plans to add an outdoor classroom during the next year. The Y leased the acreage from a supportive land owner. The short term term lease also includes longterm extension options.
Smith said the vision for Camp Keller is to highlight the beautiful nature of the property as the teaching tool for kids, family and the community. When families sign up for camps like archery this summer, kids will be bused to Camp Keller for the activity. They’re also planning to offer specialty day and outdoor education camps on site. Smith said the new camp offers the opportunity to expand programming and provide a place to develop a new learning environment.
In the future, the Y hopes to partner with local outdoor education groups, overnight family camping and other outdoor community activities at Camp Keller.
Smith is excited for the new camp and sees it as a big opportunity to add needed summer outdoor programming.
If you’re interested in signing up for Camp Keller or other summer programing visit: http://ykids.seattleymca.org/snoqualmie-valley-ymca