Camp Kum-Ba-Yah

Written By: Maya Joglekar

We all should have more Kum-Ba-Yah in our lives, and what better way to do that than by chatting with Camp Kum-Ba-Yah!

We sat down with Executive Director Amy, and Programs Director, Julie to talk about the rich history of Camp Kum-Ba-Yah.

The founder was Bev Cosby, a caucasian pastor who had a vision in social justice. He wanted to make sure that kids in Lynchburg, Virginia, had a place to play. This led him to start a day camp in 1961. The city was desegregating, but city pools in the area were closed because they did not want to integrate. Bev welcomed everyone with open arms, making Camp Kum-Ba-Yah one of the first desegregated locations in Virginia.

Camp Kum-Ba-Yah continues to represent Bev’s founding principles of inclusivity, diversity, and access for all kids through many activities and programs. Amy mentioned that her favorite activity at camp that supports these values is their Friendship Circle. Bev started the Friendship Circle, where everyone crosses their arms and sings together. This is a strong tradition that Kum-Ba-Yah takes pride in.

Amy said it best, that camp is timeless. It is a safe space to be present with people who love camp as much as you do. It is evident that Camp Kum-Ba-Yah has a strong passion for camp, and we are so grateful to have them on our podcast!

Want to support Camp Kum-Ba-Yah? Go to their site at and donate to help send campers and families to Camp Kum-Ba-Yah year round!

Check out more of our My Camp podcasts and other camp materials on our Happy Camper Live website. You can also find us on YouTube at Happy Camper Live and on Instagram @happy_camper_live.

Tagged:- My Camp Podcast, summer camp podcast, summer camp stories



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