Camp Winona celebrates 100 years in DeLeon Springs.
Attending the YMCA’s Camp Winona is like taking a step again in time.
Take the flip off of State Street 40 onto the two-mile winding filth highway resulting in the lakeside camp and the fashionable world falls away.
And apart from air con within the cabins, cellphones and ever-evolving trend tendencies, the spirit of the hundred-year-old camp has stayed just about the identical.
On the West Volusia camp close to DeLeon Springs, they nonetheless collect across the fire-pit at evening, study to swim and kayak in Lake Winona, construct self-confidence and make friendships that can final a lifetime.
“Our central themes have been physique, thoughts and spirit over time,” stated Fred Cleveland, chairman of the YMCA Camp Winona Board. “This can be a great spot for good youngsters to turn into nice youngsters.”
The kick-off for the camp’s 100-year celebration started Saturday after they opened their camp for a day of enjoyable for over 200 households.
“The thought is to rejoice the following era and encourage them with the YMCA principals,” Cleveland stated. “It’s a spot the place you may really feel protected, attain and surpass your limitations.”
And it wasn’t simply kids who got here out for the enjoyable. There have been additionally campers and counselors of years previous in attendance, reliving the recollections of their childhoods.
Andy Latford — referred to as Tony throughout his camp days — was 6 years outdated when he first attended Camp Winona in 1942. He and his two older brothers got here to the camp for the following eight years, after they got here to america from London throughout World Conflict II.
The camp was a break for the Latford brothers’ mom, who labored full time and raised three boys in Daytona Seaside whereas their father was caught in London.
“It was actually desolate again then,” Latford stated. “The entire function of the camp has stayed the identical over time, and in immediately’s time, it’s nonetheless very a lot within the wilderness.”
Their days would begin with the reveille and the Pledge of Allegiance, and was adopted by a breakfast of scrambled eggs and “chilly cereal” in orange juice — as a result of there was no refrigeration for milk.
“It’s an acquired style,” Latford stated with amusing. “However it was all very patriotic, what we did right here.”
Latford’s time on the camp throughout World Conflict II was an escape from the nightly blackouts they endured alongside Daytona Seaside, and the unknown booms that will rattle their elementary faculty throughout the day.
However Camp Winona was their saving grace, and Irene Beckham, 90 — who attended the camp in 1939 along with her Four-H group from Ormond Seaside — stated the camp was a unique world for her.
“It nonetheless has its appeal,” she stated of the camp immediately. “And the grounds have principally stayed the identical.”
Camp Winona started in the summertime of 1919 when Blame L.R. Reynolds, the primary common director of the Daytona Seaside YMCA, and some boys pitched tents on the hill beside the lake and camped for every week.
They loved the expertise a lot, that YMCA leaders acquired Lake Helen’s Bond Lumber Co. to donate 60-acres of land and by 1921, civic golf equipment had helped construct a dock and some cabins.
There are just a few distinct variations at immediately’s camp, Latford and Beckham identified.
There’s now working water, and flushing bogs have changed the outhouses that used to take a seat deep within the woods. Campers now pay upwards of $500 for every week, when in Latford’s day it was simply $7. And campers now have a spot to bathe as a substitute of bathing bare in Lake Winona.
And the way forward for the camp, in keeping with Cleveland, is to maintain their core values whereas making renovations to the longstanding cabins.
“We’re at present campaigning to renovate the 14 cabins that want a refresh,” Cleveland stated, explaining that his household shocked him throughout this previous weekend by financing one of many cabin’s renovations. “It’s the 100th anniversary and it’s our flip to offer again.”
Cleveland stated he hopes to finish all 14 of the renovations — which can embody a brand new steel roof, hardy plank siding, flooring, paint, deck and LED lighting — by the top of 2020. The overall price of renovating one cabin is $15,000.
“We hope to proceed to draw households that view us as a protected place for his or her youngsters,” Cleveland stated. “We wish to proceed to alter lives in a constructive manner for the following century.”