Camp Westwind | Otis, OR
RAVE Sports helps camps create endless combinations of creative play and exercise that help campers to build confidence, gain independence, shape character, reward achievement, and solidify friendships.
Camp Westwind’s mission aligns with our mission to encourage challenges with an emphasis on the outdoors to build stronger kids and adults alike.
Missy Klippert, Guest Services Manager tells us what makes Westwind unique and touches on the importance of camps for connecting youth to the outdoors.
Tell me about your camp. Where is it? What do you specialize in? How long have you been in business?
Westwind, originally founded in 1936, is a 529-acre independent non-profit camp, learning space, and wilderness area set in the middle of the 10,000+ acre Cascade Head UN Biosphere Reserve in Oregon. In addition to operating its traditional summer “Camp Westwind,” Westwind hosts Outdoor School in the spring and fall, rentals on available weekends, and various workshops, events, and volunteer programs throughout the year.
Equally important to Westwind’s impact on youth and families is its impact on the natural world: Westwind has aspired from day one to operate in a rustic and sustainable manner, celebrate the camp’s solitude and remoteness, and in general have no negative impact on the wildlife who call Westwind home. Following its original 360 acre purchase (including the current camp area by the sea), Westwind purchased over 400 additional acres, conserved 270 acres of wetlands through sale to the U.S. Forest Service, and in 2006 secured a permanent conservation easement with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), forever conserving the remaining land as camp, and as wilderness.
How did you get into the camp game?
Originally, I am from Las Vegas, NV, where I worked for a Government Agency Parks and Recreation Department. They had an overnight summer camp program that I had been a part of for 15 years. I fell in love with every aspect of it. The programming, the environment, the logistics, bringing in people who would normally not go camping on their own, alumni...everything. I wanted to continue with camps for the rest of my life. My partner and I even started our own non-profit camp back in Las Vegas for adults with cognitive disabilities. Then we found Camp Westwind, got hired, and moved to Oregon. The rest is history.
With Covid restrictions subsiding, are you still seeing any struggles? Benefits? Relieved?
As everyone knows COVID has been a struggle, but I think there is always a "Silver Lining". In some ways, it forced us to "look outside the box" and see where changes can be made, renew policies, change some things that needed a change but we did not know how to implement, and personally gave me a chance to reflect. I moved to Camp Westwind in the middle of COVID, so, silver lining for me. In all reality camps are a "think on your feet" occupation and is constantly evolving, we just got a long opportunity to evolve into something else. Camps nationwide are beginning to get a lot of recognition and are going to continue to be a must-needed refuge for people, and we are ready for them.
What are you most excited about for the upcoming season?
I am excited to see people enjoying life, outdoors, adventure! Having the campers here is what helps make Camp Westwind, Camp Westwind. Creating memories, building new traditions, and celebrating old ones.
And of course, what’s your favorite RAVE Sports item?
Currently my favorite is my ISUP. Living in Oregon, and being right on the Salmon River, I have a lot of opportunity to go out on it and just be with nature in my thoughts. Its very relaxing.
Where can we find you? Facebook, twitter, tiktok, email?
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