News Blog

June 2017 Newsletter

posted Jun 14, 2017, 3:03 PM by Rob Dailey

Camp starts...NOW

The first week off camp kicks of June 25. Most camps are getting full, so if you haven’t signed up yet, we recommend taking action! We don’t want anyone to miss out on an awesome year of camp. If you have signed up, look for your Pre-Arrival Packet in the mail (and email) a week or two before your camp starts. It will have everything you need to know for a smooth summer camp experience. For now, you can check to be sure all your registration tasks are completed early by logging into your account here.

B.U.L.L. Session is there for us. Can you help?

Gales Creek Camp is very fortunate to be one of six amazing charities supported by the annual Business, Union, and Labor Leaders fundraising events. Because ALL our campers are subsidized, the funds raised and shared at the BULL Session are critical to making Gales Creek Camp possible.

Held September 11th and 12th this year, the BULL Session includes an elegant dinner and auction at the Oregon Convention Center, followed the next day by a spectacular golf tournament at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.

At Gales Creek Camp, we can help in several ways. First, we need great items for the auction. We’re looking for fun items and experiences you can’t just go out and easily purchase. Trips, stays, sporting event tickets, insider tours or tastings, and special experiences are big sellers at the auction. We’re also looking for great items valued at $300 or more to make the bidding electric.

If you have a connection into anything that might be appealing to bidders who want to support Gales Creek Camp and other children’s charities, please let us know!

Second, if you’re interested in bidding yourself, or your company wants to be a part of a powerful charity event, check out the tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

Looking for Parent Panelists

We’re looking for alumni parents to participate in a panel on Friday, June 23, as part of our current camp staff training week. The panel is designed to give our staff a sharper understanding of the power of camp to change kids and improve family health. If you have a point of view to share that will help inspire our camp counselors, nurses, and nutrition staff, please let us know. The panel will be held AT CAMP Friday morning and will be no longer than one hour. The panel is limited in size, so please contact Rob Dailey if you’d like to be a part of it.

Meet Our New Operations Manager

There is a new face at the Gales Creek Camp administration office. Our new Operations Manager is Ashley McAllister.

Ashley is excited to be at Gales Creek Camp. She is a type 1 diabetic with a background in nonprofit program administration and education. Ashley didn't know any other type 1 kids growing up, so she's especially passionate about helping to give type 1 kids an opportunity to just be kids together at Gales Creek Camp every summer. When she's not working in the Gales Creek Camp office, you can find Ashley on walks with her dog, hiking in the beautiful Columbia Gorge, or growing roses in her garden.

Now in the Portland Metro: Eat Out and Support GCC!

posted May 25, 2017, 5:19 PM by Rob Dailey

Who's still hungry? Here's another opportunity to have a nice night out AND help GCC at the same time! The Old Spaghetti Factory in Sherwood reached out to us because someone who works with them has a kiddo in camp! Best connection ever!

So set your pumps for pasta and drop into the Old Spaghetti Factory in Sherwood June 5, 2017, anytime between 4 and 9pm.

Be sure to bring this flyer to have your total included in the donation! Click on the link below the jpg version to get to a pdf version of it, too!

Eat Out for Gales Creek Camp in Eugene! Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

posted May 16, 2017, 1:06 PM by Rob Dailey   [ updated May 16, 2017, 1:12 PM ]

If you're in the Eugene area, you can support Gales Creek Camp by eating dinner out at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse (1080 Valley River Way) next Wednesday, May 24, ALL DAY! They will donate 20% of proceeds to GCC. Thank you Eugene Downtown Lions Lions Clubs International! Make sure to print the flyer and give it to your server! Click the link to the pdf below for a higher resolution version of the flyer.

Camp Care and Cleanup Day SIGN UP!

posted Apr 11, 2017, 1:08 PM by Rob Dailey   [ updated Apr 11, 2017, 3:11 PM ]

On June 3, let’s wake camp up from a long, wet, cold winter.

We've put together a list of jobs, and we will have the supplies ready.

Click here to sign up! You can pick the job fits your interest and skill set.

Make sure to wear your work clothes and bring your can-do attitude. We'll have water and snacks, too.

We'll start at 9am sharp and work until about noon.

Summer Kickoff Celebration BBQ

After the work is done, let's have a BBQ! We'll have burgers and hot dogs (including veggie and gluten-free options), chips, fruits, veggies, and low-carb beverages.

Everyone is welcome to come to the BBQ, even if you can't participate in the morning cleanup activities. Just make sure to sign up in the BBQ-only section so we know how much food to prepare.

We'll play some games and raffle some of our new Camp Store merchandise, too!

Families and younger ones are welcome to help with cleanup starting at 11am. "Jobs" for families are easier so they can “help” just before joining to the BBQ. Remember, you don’t actually have to help with cleanup day to come to the BBQ. It just feels better if you do!

Meet Your Camp Director(s)!

posted Apr 11, 2017, 1:05 PM by Rob Dailey   [ updated Apr 11, 2017, 1:53 PM ]

This year, we're fortunate to have TWO highly qualified educators filling the role of Camp Director.

Tim Fitzpatrick and David Yabu both have deep connections to Gales Creek Camp. Both have been GCC counselors, and both have gone on to become teachers. Each brings special skills and passions back to Gales Creek Camp, and we're excited about this summer.

Tim, whose camp name is Gopher, will begin the season as Camp Director and David, whose camp name is Boo, will start as Assistant Camp Director. In mid-July, Tim will return to California, and David will take over as Camp Director.

Having two highly qualified educators (who are also GCC veterans) work together this season is part of our long-term plan to ensure our camp is ready for the future. While acting as Assistant Camp Director, David will be able to document our camp training, processes, and traditions so we will be on excellent footing going into 2018. This, combined with the strategic planning the Board of Directors is undertaking right now, will be the foundation for Gales Creek Camp's next five years.

The bonus is, this year our campers will get the full benefit of TWO amazing directors!

Tim "Gopher" Fitzpatrick:

Greetings GCC family! I am so excited to return to camp this summer! As a child, I spent several summers at GCC while my dad, "Boss," was Camp Director. Later on, as a college student I returned for five summers as Camp Counselor, "Gopher." I look back and appreciate all that I learned in my summers spent at Gales Creek. I have been away from camp for several years now, but GCC is in my blood and keeps calling me back. This summer, I am thrilled to be Camp Director for the first half of the summer. Joining me will be my wife, Sarah, and our three children, Finley, Forrest, and Fallon. It makes me smile when I think of the summer they are about to have!
For the past 16 years I have been teaching in the Palm Springs area. I am currently a Physical Education teacher at an elementary school in Bermuda Dunes, CA. On the last day of school, we will be packing up the car for a good old fashioned road trip, destination...GCC!

David "Boo" Yabu:

Hello GCC! After a three year break I couldn't be happier to make my return to the happiest place on earth! What started as a summer job during college turned into a home away from home and of course gave me friends forever. I worked at GCC as counselor for 5 years and Assistant Camp Director for one year as Boo! Since leaving camp I have been teaching middle school in Hillsboro, Oregon. I can't wait to get back to campfires, night swims, and of course the camp dances! Let's get ready for the BEST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE!!!


Tim and David are working with our past Camp Director Megan "Lobos" Wolfe-McCormick and our Camp Committee to ensure continuity—and to make sure the programs and activities that make Gales Creek Camp unique are present and strong!

SAVE THE DATE: JUNE 3, 2017. It's Camp Care and Cleanup Day!

posted Mar 22, 2017, 4:13 PM by Rob Dailey

Let’s wake camp up from a long, wet, cold winter. We'll dust off and spruce up the place in preparation for another superfun year of CAMP! Then we’ll have a BBQ. Hello, summer!

We will get the jobs and the supplies ready. You just wear your work clothes and bring your can-do attitude.

There will be jobs for most abilities: stuff like painting, raking, scraping, organizing, sweeping, mopping, wiping, assembling, shoveling, hauling, washing, etc. You know, the typical take-care-of-your-camp stuff.

Then we’ll have a BBQ! The “jobs” for the younger ones and families will start last so they can “help” just before joining to the BBQ. You don’t actually have to help with cleanup day to come to the BBQ. It just feels better if you do!

Stay tuned for the schedule and signup link for jobs. We’re going to get a lot done and have a great time, too!

If you can't make it out to participate, consider pitching in for supplies by making a donation here!


Meet our new Executive Director

posted Feb 28, 2017, 3:14 PM by Rob Dailey   [ updated Mar 1, 2017, 3:48 PM ]

Dear campers, families, alumni, volunteers, and supporters,

It was my privilege to assume the role of Executive Director of Gales Creek Camp Foundation in January of this year. In my first two months, I have begun to get to know the inner workings of camp, and I’ve gotten a chance to spend some time with our dedicated Board of Directors. Now more than ever, I am excited about the future of our camp!

My first visit to Gales Creek Camp was in 2013, when our family attended family camp. Our daughter was diagnosed with type 1 when she was 2 years old, in 2010, and we had been looking forward to giving her the camp experience since the day we heard about Gales Creek Camp (and, let’s be honest, my wife and I were looking forward to some respite, too). We still had to wait another three years before she went to her first week of overnight camp—we went to family day camp and family overnight camp—but from that first visit, we felt like family.

We just celebrated our seventh anniversary as a type 1 family, so diabetes is a big (BIG) part of my life. The other part, the professional part of my life, has always been in creative not-for-profits. Just so you know a bit more about me: I left my position as Executive Director of the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg to take the position at Gales Creek Camp. Before that I was Deputy Director of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, and prior to that I had been in operations and development for two performing arts not-for-profits. At one time I was even a summer theatre camp teacher! All of the organizations I have worked with have summer camp programs, and I was involved in all of them. Summer camps are a chance to expose kids to a world beyond their everyday lives. Camps can take kids on adventures into ideas and the outside world—and camps can take kids on a journey within themselves. Summers are not to be wasted.

Gales Creek Camp has a long, venerable history. Since 1953 this camp has been giving kids with type 1 a chance to get out into the Oregon outdoors, get away from their typical support systems, and be around other kids with type 1 diabetes. That is a powerful formula, and it has changed the lives of thousands and thousands of people, from those living with the everyday challenges that type 1 demands of their own bodies, to those who live with, love and support them. It’s more than one week in the summer—it’s a network of families who, through the shared experience of type 1, together become a kind of extended family. Gales Creek Camp is the nexus of a system of parents and caregivers who, merely by being connected, by sharing their stories, their tips, tricks, and their hope, support and fortify each other. Our summer camp is more than a summer camp.

So that’s why I’m so excited to be a part of it. Despite the recent surprises that haven’t been great for the administrative side of GCC, right now we’re looking up at the limitless, starry sky of opportunity. We have an incredible history, a fantastic base of supporters, and an amazing summer camp program.

To give you an idea what’s ahead: first, our Board of Directors and I have made it a priority to build the fiscal controls and governance systems that will ensure Gales Creek Camp is not only financially stable, but also viable into the future. Beyond this, it is time again to renew our organization’s strategic vision. We’ll take the time to reflect on the history and traditions of Gales Creek Camp, to look at our capacity now, to assess the needs of our campers and families, and to imagine what the future will hold. Ultimately, we want Gales Creek Camp to be a renewed, updated version of what it has always been: an organization that meets the unique needs of type 1 kids today—their today.

Transparency is a key value in this organization, and it is no secret that we’ve had some recent misfortune. But from the Board of Directors on down, we’re excited to move on. Part of this process necessitates the re-examination of our current systems and practices.

I am sure many families wondered why we didn’t have an auction this spring. The short answer is that we weren’t ready. Most of all it is a question of using the organization’s resources responsibly. We want to make sure every dollar invested in GCC has maximum impact. We want to make sure we’re putting as much as possible into camp and as little as possible into fundraising. To this end, we’re looking closely at the whole model of a charity auction.

This does not mean we will never do an auction again. We might. Or we might try something different. We still have to raise money to cover the costs of camp that fees do not cover. It’s important to remember that regular camper fees cover less than half the overall costs of camp—but low fees and “camperships” (scholarships) ensure camp is accessible to any kid facing type 1, so it’s worth it. Part of the planning process the Board has initiated includes cost analyses of different types of fundraising methods, so nothing is off the table.

But our families know that a big reason fundraising events are valuable is because of the opportunity to connect or re-connect with other type 1 families. The annual auction has been a place where kids can see their friends (the peers who truly get what it’s like to be them), and it’s a place where parents and caregivers feel that inexplicable surge of empathy that goes along with truly getting other parents. This is the best part of the auction—but we don’t need an auction to make it happen!

Getting campers and families together is part of our mission, and during our strategic planning process, we’ll talk about ways we can do that better.

That still leaves the need to raise funds. While we recognize that many of our families are in the phase of their lives where just covering the everyday costs of life (plus medical expenses) makes donating to a not-for-profit a stretch, we want to make sure everyone knows Gales Creek Camp survives on the direct financial investments of our supporters. If you are a family looking to direct the impact of your charitable giving to something that matters to you, Gales Creek Camp is here. You know first-hand that camp changes the lives of kids with type 1—because it has more than likely made a difference in your type 1’s life. To kids, Gales Creek Camp means summer fun and new best friends. They won’t realize until much later that it also means better social skills, added personal resilience, improved self-care, higher self-esteem, and ultimately more readiness for independence. That’s the power of camp. That’s the power of your donation.

If you need proof of the power of camp, you need only talk to any of our thousands of alumni. Past campers, past counselors, and even past families are Gales Creek Camp’s greatest champions. In fact, I can comfortably say that without the direct involvement of our alumni, GCC wouldn’t be here today. It started with 23 kids the first summer. Now we have about 500 per year! Many of our board members, our volunteers, and our camp staff are alumni in some way. This is truly a pay-it-forward model of positive impact.

I know it has long been a dream to have a way to connect alumni, to re-connect old friends who shared the time of their lives, and we have not given up on that. It’s another thing on our long list of priorities.

Of course, the most important thing for Gales Creek Camp Foundation is to focus on the programs—the camp itself. Although we had an unfortunate situation in the organization’s administration, we are proud to report that camp has been almost unaffected. Almost. Many of you know Jo Vance (AKA “PJ”), who was until just a few weeks ago our camp Program Director. She was instrumental in operating camp throughout the unfolding of the disruption. Notably, Jo also spearheaded our re-accreditation by the American Camp Association—which means we meet national standards in safety, programming, and facilities. Unfortunately for us, Jo was offered a position she just couldn’t turn down at a wonderful camp near her hometown in southern California. She left her mark, and she will be missed.

Right now we are actively searching for a seasonal Camp Director who will lead camp through the 2017 season. Several all-star alumni counselors have already expressed interest, and we are confident we will find just the right person. Beyond that, we are discussing how we will ensure camp will continue to grow with the needs of the type 1 community. This is part of the process the Board of Directors has undertaken: to carefully consider the camp’s long-term goals—and to create the infrastructure necessary to get us there. Hiring a permanent, full-time, year-around camp professional in the fall to serve as Program Director is certainly a strong possibility.

I know most of you have supreme confidence in Gales Creek Camp. This trust has been earned over the course of years. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the many volunteers who fill the myriad roles at camp and outside of camp, the staff who give their all every time they put their camp hats on, and our supporters who have been with us as long as anyone can remember, I want to say thank you.

We are in a great place, with unlimited possibilities ahead of us. Together, we will continue to be the place where kids and families with type 1 can find their best friends, their outdoors, their mountains, their creek, their games, their bubble gum tree, their memories. Gales Creek Camp is where we all find our place—our community.

I look forward to meeting you, every one of you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me. I may not know all the answers yet, but I’ll be happy to find them together.

Also, we’ll be looking for volunteers to participate in all kinds of ways in the near future, from helping with Camp Cleanup Day to getting involved in fundraising events. I hope you’ll keep an open mind and step up when the time comes. We’ll make it fun!

Finally, if you are ready to make a donation, there are several ways to do so, including securely through our website or by mail (office address below). Again, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you know someone who might share our passion for Gales Creek Camp, please talk to them about it. If you'd like to make a larger donation or talk about options for planned giving, I would love to speak with you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message—and thank you for being a part of Gales Creek Camp!


Rob Dailey

Executive Director

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