Calling All Camp Jones Gulch Alumni
Come relive your summer at Camp Jones Gulch!
Remember the hikes? The friendships? The pranks? The fun? - these former Camp Jones Gulch campers and staff do! Trip down memory lane at Camp Jones Gulch's annual Alumni Reunion Friday, August 17 through Sunday, August 19, 2018. Make memories with friends old and new at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch.
Aimee Rene Ellis, 1995-2005 (camper / CIT / counselor)
"There is one camp ‘prank’ that was unforgettable – the time Suzette and other camp management borrowed all the shoes in the entire camp, and then called everyone to the baseball field. There was an enormous “HAVE FUN” (one of the ‘camp rules’) spelled out with all our shoes, the entire camp was in stitches for weeks.
I’ve been greatly impacted by experience gained through being around diverse individuals at camp – it has made me who I am today. I learned how to sacrifice my own needs to benefit my camp community. Being a counselor meant setting a good example of how to be a steward of the earth, being kind to everyone, and doing everything ‘for the kids. Giving back and paying it forward to the next generation of campers is what it was all about, I now practice this value on the daily."
Lee Ann Northcutt (Camp Counselor/Lifeguard/Program Director)
"I moved to Jones Gulch from Texas with my family in 1974 where my Father, Gerry Morse was the Camp Executive until his retirement in 1989.
I've got so many memories as can be imagined, but in the late 80's,one Summer in particular has to be at the top of the list. We had an awesome camp staff, the majority of which were from New Zealand, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Australia All that Summer, in between sessions, each would host a cookout introducing us to their favorite dishes from their Country. We even had a Spanish Bull Fight, complete with a Paper Mache Bull at the Indian Bowl. That by far was a classic Summer, I'll always remember.
Growing up as a Camp Directors daughter (since I was 3 months old) has been an amazing dream. How thankful I have always felt to have been a part of something that has helped to shape and enrich young lives."
Luke Austenfeld (Director)
"In many ways Jones Gulch was a coming-of-age for me professionally. I went from managing a small independent YMCA camp in the Flint Hills of Kansas to running a large complicated business as an integral part of one of the largest YMCAs in the country. I was 35 years old and it was daunting.
Shortly after I arrived at Jones Gulch, my boss, the Director of YMCA Camping Services of the YMCA of San Francisco, retired resulting in the subsequent handing over those responsibilities to me within my first several months on the job.
Right on the heels of that pronouncement, at 5:04 PM on October 17, 1989, was the Loma Prieta earthquake. For a Kansas boy who had only been ducking tornadoes all his life, that earthquake was a new experience and a big deal. The quake wrecked every fireplace at the camp. We were full of Outdoor Education students and no one got even a scratch. We were so blessed that no one was hurt. All this in my first 9 months."
Veronica Grauke (formerly Moreno)
"I first came to Y camp as a homeless youth, my family and I were staying in a shelter located in the tenderloin of San Francisco because our home had become uninhabitable and we couldn’t find anything else affordable. Through a partnership with another nonprofit that managed the shelter my mom was able to pay $50 for myself and 2 of my siblings to attend camp for a week. I came back summer after summer, looked forward to the time away from our hectic life. At camp I was able to connect to nature, build friends, find confidence and be a kid again.
While working at Y camp I made many friends, eventually I found my best friend and now husband Max Grauke. He, like me, attended camp as a child and eventually came to work for Y camp also.
I have committed my life to working in the nonprofit sector and create an environment which supports the youth to live and learn and HAVE FUN!"