Best Of

Best Summer Camp

YMCA Camp Reed

click to enlarge Best Summer Camp
YMCA Camp reed photos
Opened in 1915, Camp Reed connects with 1,900 kids a year.

Thirty miles north of Spokane, tucked amid a cluster of evergreen trees, sits a place where memories are made.

At dusk, the shimmering lake appears sleepy. During the day, it's rife with bright yellow canoes, joyful screams and smiling faces.

This year, after racking up 10 total wins, YMCA Camp Reed enters the Best Of Hall of Fame. But, Camp Reed holds 108 years of history. There's a good chance even you, dear reader, can recall fond memories from Camp Reed of singing campfire songs, staying up late inside your cabin and the sudden sadness that hits when it's time to leave and head home.

"This is a place where kids can come to find themselves," says Executive Director Carly Garras, whose camp name is Calypso. "They get to connect with kids outside of their usual spheres and try new things."

Camp Reed has been a staple in the Inland Northwest since its opening as an all-boys camp in 1915. In 1968, the camp opened to girls as well, but that wasn't the end of Camp Reed expanding its horizons. Along with typical summer camps, Camp Reed also offers Camp Goodtimes, a camp for children affected by cancer.

Camp Goodtimes Director Katie Swain (camp name Krusty) says that camp is a special bundle of joy, wrapped up with a ribbon for Goodtimes campers.

"Campers show up and get to be authentically themselves," Swain says. "Whether they're in our regular programs or Camp Goodtimes, they expand, grow, reach and they get to be silly. Or serious. They get to be whatever they want to be, and that's the beauty of summer camp."

YMCA Camp Reed sees almost 1,900 kids a year across all of their programs. No kid is ever turned away. They're all welcome to make memories that will last a lifetime at Camp Reed.

"Everyone has a connection with Camp Reed in one way or another," says Garras. "We wouldn't be here if it weren't for community support. It's a special place, and we're excited for our next 100 years."

2nd PLACE: Camp Sweyolakan, Coeur d'Alene
3rd PLACE: Camp Spalding

Heartistry: Artistic Wellbeing @ Spark Central

Tuesdays, 3-5 p.m.
  • or