Camp Benson is going GREEN!

Written By: Eli Rolli, Summer Camp Director. The trees are starting to green up, the grass is back to its usual vibrant green color and YMCA Camp Benson is in the process of becoming greener as well. Summer camps we have an amazing opportunity to immerse kids in the natural world and help increase their awareness about the environmental impact we as humans have on the earth. With that being said we need to do our part at Camp Benson to try to reduce our carbon footprint. YMCA Camp Benson was recently awarded a YMCA of the USA grant to increase energy efficiency here at camp. This grant was matched by a very generous donation, which will allow us to reduce our energy consumption even further. Here is a list of some of the energy saving changes we will be making at camp before summer:

  1. Changing all of the light bulbs over to LED bulbs. LED light bulbs use 70% less energy than tradition incandescent bulbs and they last 5 times longer than either incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs. They are also Mercury free, unlike the curly compact florescent bulbs that we have in various locations around camp.new-and-old-light-bulb
  2. Upgrading some kitchen appliances to Energy Star models. These new appliances will allow us to continue to prepare excellent camp meals all while using less energy. 
  3. Switching to Tank-less Water Heaters in the Girl’s Bathhouse. These tank-less water heaters will only heat water when it is needed, instead of holding hot water in a large storage tank at a constant temperature. Tank-less water heaters are 30% more efficient than storage tank heaters currently installed in the girl’s bathhouse.

All of these changes are going to make a huge difference in the amount of energy we use at camp this summer. This is just the start. We plan to continue making incremental changes to YMCA Camp Benson to help reduce camp’s carbon footprint even further. In the near future I hope to start up a composting and garden program and possibly even generate some of our own power by installing solar panels. The future looks bright here at YMCA Camp Benson and hopefully greener too.

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