Skip to main content

Hey Camp Silver Creek!

Join the Camp Silver Creek Alumni Association to support, preserve, and strengthen YMCA camping at Camp Silver Creek. If you were a camper, staff, or contributor to YMCA Camp Silver Creek and are eighteen years or older, you are considered alumni and members of the Association. 

Keep in Touch

Join the email list to receive news of events, agendas, and remote participation links for meetings. 
Email the CSCAA chair
For camp-related questions, please contact the Camp Director 

Election for 2024-2025 Board of Directors

Members of the Board of Directors (Directors) serve 3-year terms and may serve up to two consecutive terms. Current Directors who are continuing through the 2024-2025 year include Emily Witczak (Stormy), Matt Hagan (Elwood), Becca LaFramboise (Gumby), and Jo Jablo (Candle). 

New Directors Proposed to begin in August, 2024 are Robert Vieyra-Braendle (Jockey-Box), Jerry Woodcock, Johanna Burgess (Durango), Jim Trett, Max Wilder (Frank), Kai Markle (The Dude). 

All CSCAA members can vote. Please use the form you received by email or click here.

2024 Alumni Work Party June 18th 

Please join Camp Silver Creek staff, alumni, and families on Tuesday, June 18, from 1 P.M. - 6 p.m to prepare our buildings and outdoor spaces for summer magic. We will be clearing trails, preparing overnight spots, and organizing for a great summer. Camp staff will already be in residence, allowing volunteers and families to work directly with them on projects. All volunteers are invited to stay for dinner and a joint alumni-staff campfire.  

Please complete a new volunteer form and sign-up here to attend. 

We recommend wearing work clothes, gloves, safety glasses, and sunscreen. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Connie Strong at 650-964-2014.  

May and August Quarterly Meetings - Everyone Welcome

Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m. CSCAA Board Meeting at the Salem YMCA
Thursday, August 1, 2024, Annual Meeting

2024 CSCAA John Mistkawi Memorial Golf Tournament

Register now to play or sponsor a camper! The 2024 CSCAA John Mistkawi Memorial Golf Tournament is July 29th, 2024. This year, we are moving the tournament to Creekside Golf Course, so get ready to experience a new and exciting environment. 

Past Meeting Minutes

Work Party 2023 Photos
Annual Meeting August 2, 2023
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
November 2023 Newsletter
January 4, 2024
Thursday, February 13, 2024

2023-2024 Board of Directors

Crystal Cram
Amanda Hampton
Matt Hagan
Jo Jablo, Secretary
Becca LaFramboise, Vice Chair
Jeremiah Rasca, Chair
Emily Romeling
Asher Romeling
Connie Strong, Treasurer
Emily Witczak
Kai Markle - Camp Staff Representative
Guy Greider - YMCA Board Camp Committee 
Adrienne Chodnowsky - Camp Silver Creek Director


Our History

From 1929 to 1940, the Salem YMCA hosted Oceanside camp, a residential camp for older boys located near Tillamook. “All campers and leaders slept in tents and usually we had two or three big storms when tents blew down and everything got very wet” according to Gus Moore, who directed the camp for 5 years.

The winds of fortune began to change when the National Parks Service approached him and Claude Kells, then Executive Secretary of the Salem YMCA, about collaborating on a youth camp that the Works Progress Administration was building in a new national park east of Salem. Kells persuaded Ted Chambers, chairman of the camp committee, to join them for a visit.

What they found was a spectacular forested wilderness dotted with waterfalls, gentle creeks, and flowering meadows. The proposed youth camp “had a beautiful, big log dining hall, screened log cabins in different areas of the woods for campers and leaders, large playing field, and stream for fishing and swimming. This was a great change from Oceanside!” he later wrote. According to John Mistkawi, who became the YMCA CEO, “The spectacular natural setting deep in the park, ancient trees, and hand-built log structures with stone fireplaces convinced the three of them that this would provide an extraordinary opportunity for the youth of the mid-Willamette valley.” They had a harder time convincing the board of directors, but “after much discussion and a lengthy debate, the Board of the Y agreed to try it out before signing a long term lease.”

In 1938, Moore served as the first Camp Director for the new camp, which supplemented the old Oceanside camp.  In 1947, the National Parks Service transferred ownership of the park to the State of Oregon. To this day, the YMCA and the Oregon State Parks work together to make this unparalleled outdoor experience possible.

In 1955, with financial help from the Salem Rotary Club, the YMCA constructed the existing swimming pool.

Since 1939, boys had several weeks at camp alone and girls had one or two weeks depending on enrollment. Sometimes girls camp was at Silver Creek and sometimes at Smith Creek, the current site of the Silver Falls conference center.

In 1973, Mike Smith introduced co-ed camp, a dramatic departure from our traditional Boys camp and Girls camp. This caused quite a “stir”. The camp committee deliberated for several weeks about the advisability and the implications of a co-ed camp and finally agreed to a one-week trial session. It was a resounding success with 120 campers enrolled. Several years later, the camp committee agreed to have coed units, with boys and girls in separate cabins as we presently have.

Camp Silver Creek was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, protecting its signature log structures for future generations.

Campers love the incomparable setting, the fun, well-organized activities, and the friendships they form. They love the traditions, such as polar-bearing, Ragger ceremonies, and Capture the Flag that Gus and Bea brought from Camp Oceanside. Parents love the safety, healthy break from screen time, fresh air and exercise, and the maturity their kids gain during their weeks at camp.

The non-denominational chapel, flag, ragger, and candlelight ceremonies invite campers to explore their own moral and spiritual foundations. Each year, staff stage elaborate games that turn the whole camp into a giant Alien Hunt or Quidditch pitch. Campers return changed, more independent, with an identity in a special world. They return to camp as counselors, come back after college to volunteer, hold weddings there, and return for Family Camp.

Camp Silver Creek Alumni Association

Camp Silver

Camp Silver

Camp Silver