Vision for the Future of Camp Kilworth

There are places in the world that are important to us. They are the setting where we find friends, new experiences, restful activity, and a chance to refocus our busy lives. We need such places. Camp Kilworth is just such a place. For over 80 years, it has been that kind of place for many of our youth and families. This pristine site, on the shores of Puget Sound and only minutes from downtown Federal Way, so close to Dash Point State Park, has been the site of ceremonies, campfires, first experiences of leadership, meeting old and new friends, and a place away from the common and ordinary. We need such a place as Camp Kilworth. We need to care for it so that it will be there for those who will also need it in years to come.

In 2016, the Pacific Harbors Council, BSA, voted to close 4 out of their 5 camp properties in order to focus more energy and resources into their programs rather than their properties.  Camp Kilworth was returned to the original owners, the Kilworth Foundation of Tacoma.  This is an opportunity for the friends of Camp Kilworth - for those who use it now, and for those who will use it in the future - to explore strengthening the Camp through resource development and implementation, increased availability for other groups and individuals, and long range planning.

Now more than ever, kids need outdoor experiences and time together. They need time to connect with others, work together, problem solve, learn, play and enjoy outdoor activities. They need time away from the screen. They need positive adult role models and mentors. There is also an environmental need for land and wildlife preservation - Camp Kilworth is one of the last remaining sections of undeveloped shoreline on Puget Sound. And there is a cultural need for historic preservation - the Rotary Lodge on Camp Kilworth was built in 1936, and has recently been named one of Washington’s “Most Endangered Places of 2018” by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

Taken all together, the need for Camp Kilworth is more than obvious. We need this camp, and the camp needs us, to ensure its use as originally planned continues for many years ahead. It would be a loss to our communal life if this camp would be closed to those who need such a place as this. You can help us in this important and valuable work for our youth and families.

A new vision for Camp Kilworth: The formation of a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization (working name "Camp Kilworth Scouting and Alumni Association") is in progress. This organization proposes to oversee the facility use, maintenance, fundraising, and marketing of the camp. In addition, it would be a goal of this nonprofit to maximize the camp's use and resources by widening the scope to include all youth organizations. The continuation of efforts to mentor the youth of today in leadership and service, through the skills of camp craft and experiential learning would preserve - and grow - Wm. Kilworth's 80+ year legacy.

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