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YMCA's Camp Takatoka

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This year is the 100 year anniversary of YMCA's Camp Takatoka. The residential summer camp is located on Lake Fort Gibson and is also available for group rentals. Starting February 22nd there will be a 48 hour celebration of multiple anniversaries: the 100th anniversary of Camp Takatoka, the 90th anniversary of the Westside YMCA, and the 50th anniversary of Chili Day. Executive Director of Camping Services Kyle Wilkes says Chili Day is a longstanding tradition where they make chili at the Westside YMCA. Individuals come to buy the chili and Westside YMCA delivers chili to local businesses who order it for lunch. Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum there will be a celebration dinner for the 100 year anniversary of Camp Takatoka. Wilkes says they will have previous campers, camper families, staff, directors, members of the community, and donors in attendance. There they will reflect on the history of the camp and will give away the Zellner award recognizing time, talent, or treasure given to the YMCA. On Saturday there will be an open house at Camp Takatoka for people to visit during the day and in the evening there will be a bonfire.

Wilkes says that spots are filling quickly for this 100th summer at Camp Takatoka. Contact the Westside YMCA for information on their summer camp, after school programs, and the February 22-23rd anniversary event. The phone number for Westside YMCA is 918-446-1424 and they are located near Tulsa's Turkey Mountain at 5400 S. Olympia Ave. After school program at Westside YMCA is called GO (Graduate Oklahoma) and includes physical activities, nutrition, and tutoring.

"Family strengthening is a very important component of what we do," Wilkes says. They want to reduce "screen time" for youth who watch a lot of TV and they want to provide new ways for kids and their families to be active. YMCA's focuses on 3 pillars: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The YMCA's 4 core values are caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Wiles also says the environments of Westside YMCA and Camp Takatoka are an equal playing field where there seek to eliminate bullying and clicks.

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