By: Mary Trotta

Winter’s Wrath: Camp Wamp closed for summer ’23

Camp Wamp anticipated the summer of 2023 to be a season filled with laughter, adventure, and unforgettable memories. However, the Tahoe region experienced an incredible amount of snowfall during the past winter. This led Camp Wamp to make the unfortunate decision to close for the summer. This unexpected turn of events highlights the extreme weather conditions faced by the area. It also emphasizes the snow’s impact on Camp Wamp’s operations.

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Let’s explore the winter storms and what we now have planned for the upcoming season.

Unprecedented Snowfall and its Impact on Tahoe:

Record-breaking winter storms ravaged the Tahoe region, dumping an astonishing amount of snow. These unrelenting storms created incredible scenic beauty and excitement for winter sports enthusiasts, but they also wreaked major havoc throughout the region. Avalanches, road closures, and power outages became commonplace, severely disrupting the normal functioning of communities. In light of these extreme weather conditions, the closure of Camp Wamp became an unfortunate necessity.

Disappointment 🙁

We faced a difficult choice when it came to closing Camp Wamp for the summer of 2023. Both the camp staff and campers eagerly awaited the joys and adventures that our typical summer season offered. From swimming to hiking through the forests, everyone hoped for a summer Wamp experience filled with fun, growth, and lifelong friendships. Sadly, the snowfall has made it impossible to prepare the camp’s facilities and ensure the participants’ safety. At present, the entire camp remains buried under about 35 feet of snow. The buildings are barely visible. It is highly unlikely that we will be able to access the property until late June. At that time, we’ll evaluate the impact and commence the clean-up efforts.

It’s about what you CAN do!:

Camp Wamp embraces the motto “It’s about what you CAN do!” in all our efforts. While the closure of Camp Wamp for the summer of 2023 brings disappointment, it allows us to prioritize critical property improvements. We are determined to address Sustainability, Accessibility, and Safety during this period of downtime, aiming for a brighter and more inclusive future for all campers.

Projects and Partners:

We have planned several projects to enhance the camp’s facilities and programs, ensuring positive changes:

The McBeth Foundation’s incredible generosity makes our Solar Installation project possible. Recognizing the importance of reducing our environmental impact, we will install solar panels, providing a clean and renewable energy source. This initiative significantly reduces our carbon footprint and contributes to a more sustainable future.

In partnership with The Martis Fund and the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Forest Futures program, we have undertaken a Forest Management Program. We understand that responsible forest management is crucial for the safety of our campers, staff, and surrounding communities. This multi-year project ensures the preservation of the surrounding woodland, allowing future generations of campers to enjoy its wonders. The Martis Fund, a collaborative effort of Martis Camp landowners, DMB/Highlands Group (the developers of Martis Camp), Mountain Area Preservation (MAP), and Sierra Watch, provides funding for this initiative. Additionally, the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Forest Futures Campaign supports the conservation and sustainable management of forests to mitigate climate change, promote ecological integrity and human well-being, and maintain crucial forest products and services.

Camp Wamp aims to create an inclusive environment for all campers, regardless of their physical abilities. To achieve this, we will construct a new, Fully-Accessible Trail around our 8-acre lake and throughout the property. This initiative allows campers with mobility challenges to experience the beauty of nature firsthand, encouraging a sense of belonging and adventure. The project also includes the addition of two Camp Wamp exit routes, significantly enhancing our safety. We are currently securing funding for this remarkable camp upgrade.

Looking Ahead:

Although Camp Wamp’s closure for the summer of 2023 is a disappointment, it signifies the camp’s commitment to the safety and well-being of all participants. The winter storms that impacted the Tahoe region were a reminder of the unpredictable forces of nature. However, everyone at Camp Wamp is determined to make the most of this temporary pause and emerge stronger, more sustainable, and more accessible for years to come.