The Nor’wester Philosophy
Camp Nor’wester is an outdoor residential camp where children gain significant skills and insights in a caring and supportive atmosphere, taking advantage of the Pacific Northwest’s coastal character, through a program that is characterized by a commitment to:
- Develop a child’s maturity and a positive self-image.
- Provide programming that holds the physical and emotional safety of the child as a paramount concern.
- Teach children skills and values about responsibility for one’s self, others, and the environment.
- Provide a community where diversity, tolerance, and compassion are valued, respected, and promoted.
- Provide a positive outdoor group living experience that helps children develop the skills necessary for productive group and interpersonal interaction.
- Provide an experience for children that is challenging, rewarding, memorable, and fun.
Camp Nor’wester’s founders, Frank and Lucile Henderson, believed that a camp community, under the proper leadership, could provide an ideal setting for children to learn more about themselves and the world in which they lived. Eighty years later that belief remains the cornerstone of the Nor’wester program. Located on beautiful Johns Island Washington, Camp Nor’wester is a camp where girls and boys ages 9-16 can enjoy a summer full of amazing experiences and great new friends. Campers from all over the United States and overseas come together to spend time in the outdoors, learn new skills and discover new talents.
Equity and Inclusion at Camp
Camp Nor’wester strives to be an open and inclusive community for all people. At the board level, a committee called Creating Cultural Competency in our Camp Community (C5) guides the organization in the efforts of equality and inclusion.
C5 strives to ensure the camp community can access the “essence” of camp which includes fostering authenticity, connection, and the opportunity to develop one’s growth mindset.
Our vision is to provide an inclusive environment for the diverse campers, staff, and stakeholders already connected with Nor’wester, with the belief that as we become more equitable and inclusive internally, additional campers, staff, etc. from diverse backgrounds will organically connect with Nor’wester. By developing our diversity inclusion, the entire organization benefits.
We also envision a camp community in which conversations about equity and inclusion are normalized so that campers, staff, etc. expect to engage in courageous conversations and have the comfort and skill to do so.
It is our intention to provide an equitable experience for all campers who enroll at Camp Nor’wester. Training our staff, providing safe spaces for discussions at camp and ensuring campers can access the program equally are just a few examples of the foundation we’ve built to positively impact the camper experience in regards to these important issues.