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The mission of the Camp Silver Creek Alumni Association is to support, preserve, and strengthen YMCA camping at Camp Silver Creek. All past campers, staff, and contributors to YMCA Camp Silver Creek who are eighteen years and older are considered alumni and members of the Association.


Next CSSAA Meeting: 

Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 at 6:30pm PST - on Zoom

Topic: CSCAA Meeting

Time: May 24, 2023 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

 Meeting ID: 847 2631 2299

Passcode: 627476



Join the official mailing list for news and events 
Email the CSCAA president


Work Party

Saturday, June 3, 2023, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Calling all staff, alumni, and supporters to work at camp for one glorious day to prepare for our 85th year of summer magic! This year’s big projects include clearing trails, power washing buildings, and renovating the outdoor chapel where generations of Y campers have learned respect, responsibility, honesty, and caring. Sign up and reserve lunch here.


26th Annual CSCAA John Mistkawi Memorial Golf Tournament

Monday, July 24, 2023, 12:30 pm

Register today at or sponsor a camper at any level. All contributions support camp scholarships and are tax deductible. We hope to see you there! Registration includes:
Greens fees and electric cart for 18 holes
Unlimited complimentary range balls
A charitable tax donation
Scramble Net/Gross format


2023-2024 CSCAA Board Elections

Any member of the CSCAA (YOU) may nominate candidates for the Board of Directors. Elections take place at the summer meeting. Officers (chair, vice-chair, treasurer, secretary) should be elected from the existing board members (see below). View proposed updates to the bylaws. 

Our History

From 1929 to 1940, the Salem YMCA hosted Oceanside camp, a residential camp for older boys located near Tillamook. “All campers and leaders slept in tents and usually we had two or three big storms when tents blew down and everything got very wet” according to Gus Moore, who directed the camp for 5 years.

The winds of fortune began to change when the National Parks Service approached him and Claude Kells, then Executive Secretary of the Salem YMCA, about collaborating on a youth camp that the Works Progress Administration was building in a new national park east of Salem. Kells persuaded Ted Chambers, chairman of the camp committee, to join them for a visit.

What they found was a spectacular forested wilderness dotted with waterfalls, gentle creeks, and flowering meadows. The proposed youth camp “had a beautiful, big log dining hall, screened log cabins in different areas of the woods for campers and leaders, large playing field, and stream for fishing and swimming. This was a great change from Oceanside!” he later wrote. According to John Mistkawi, who became the YMCA CEO, “The spectacular natural setting deep in the park, ancient trees, and hand-built log structures with stone fireplaces convinced the three of them that this would provide an extraordinary opportunity for the youth of the mid-Willamette valley.” They had a harder time convincing the board of directors, but “after much discussion and a lengthy debate, the Board of the Y agreed to try it out before signing a long term lease.”

In 1938, Moore served as the first Camp Director for the new camp, which supplemented the old Oceanside camp.  In 1947, the National Parks Service transferred ownership of the park to the State of Oregon. To this day, the YMCA and the Oregon State Parks work together to make this unparalleled outdoor experience possible.

In 1955, with financial help from the Salem Rotary Club, the YMCA constructed the existing swimming pool.

Since 1939, boys had several weeks at camp alone and girls had one or two weeks depending on enrollment. Sometimes girls camp was at Silver Creek and sometimes at Smith Creek, the current site of the Silver Falls conference center.

In 1973, Mike Smith introduced co-ed camp, a dramatic departure from our traditional Boys camp and Girls camp. This caused quite a “stir”. The camp committee deliberated for several weeks about the advisability and the implications of a co-ed camp and finally agreed to a one-week trial session. It was a resounding success with 120 campers enrolled. Several years later, the camp committee agreed to have coed units, with boys and girls in separate cabins as we presently have.

Camp Silver Creek was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, protecting its signature log structures for future generations.

Campers love the incomparable setting, the fun, well-organized activities, and the friendships they form. They love the traditions, such as polar-bearing, Ragger ceremonies, and Capture the Flag that Gus and Bea brought from Camp Oceanside. Parents love the safety, healthy break from screen time, fresh air and exercise, and the maturity their kids gain during their weeks at camp.

The non-denominational chapel, flag, ragger, and candlelight ceremonies invite campers to explore their own moral and spiritual foundations. Each year, staff stage elaborate games that turn the whole camp into a giant Alien Hunt or Quidditch pitch. Campers return changed, more independent, with an identity in a special world. They return to camp as counselors, come back after college to volunteer, hold weddings there, and return for Family Camp.

Camp Silver Creek Alumni Association

Camp Silver

Camp Silver

Camp Silver