Both George and Wilmer served as camp directors and leaders for the Chinatown YMCA in San Francisco since 1985. In the late 1990s, there was a shift in the method that the YMCA was offering camping scholarships to its members. That practice seemed to discriminate against those youth who mainly lived in the Chinatown and Tenderloin districts of San Francisco. In 2000, George and Wilmer decided to separate from the YMCA, and created a summer camp which would invite all youth, no matter the financial situation of the families applying. C.A.M.P. (Camp Alumni Membership Program) San Francisco is rooted in loving our neighbors and teaching skills in a manner befitting model young citizens. This is the best and only way we can fulfill our mission.
"WE TEACH VALUES THAT CAN BE PRACTICED YEAR ROUND AT HOME!"
Wilmer Fong, a retired YMCA Youth director and retired teacher with the SFUSD, is one of several founders of C.A.M.P. He has been C.A.M.P. Camp Director emeritus since 1994. He is also C.A.M.P.'s principal fundraiser.
George Lai, a retired Math teacher in the SFUSD for over forty years, is one of several founders of C.A.M.P. Prior to the establishment of C.A.M.P. in 1984, he was involved in Chinatown YMCA camp as a camper, leader and director. He has been C.A.M.P.'s Girls Camp Director since 1992 and Boys Camp Director since 1994.