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Our Mission 

YWCA Vermont is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

At an organizational level, YWCA Vermont recognizes the reality of the Vermont state demographics being predominantly white (Vermont population is 95% white) and the leadership of the organization being exclusively white, as well. Through consultation with other racial justice focused local organizations, YWCA Vermont has identified the need to take time to bring purposeful, action-based anti-racist work to the majority white community we already serve in order to make real change in eliminating racism in Vermont specifically. YWCA Vermont strives to take a more active role in racial justice issues within the local community by bringing the mission of eliminating racism into our current programming with the greatest intentionality. Through staff training, programming at Camp Hochelaga, Leaders on the Lake and Rise, intentional support of a diverse network of local families through the Circle of Girls Scholarship Fund, and by cultivating purposeful partnerships with well-intentioned local organizations, YWCA Vermont is already taking steps to bring the mission to life.

Who We Are

Established in 1919, YWCA Vermont has been a voice for change dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, and freedom for more than 100 years. YWCA Vermont envisions vibrant, equitable and connected communities where women and girls thrive with access to opportunities for outdoor education, wellness, growth and leadership. Throughout all our programs, we ensure that people of all ages learn about health and wellness, explore the intersection of race and gender, and nurture environmental stewardship and life-long learning. Our work is funded by our generous donors and alumni, our anchor program Camp Hochelaga, grants, in-kind donations and amazing volunteers. We collaborate with partner organizations across Vermont to advocate for policy and systems change that will advance our mission and vision.

What We Do

Our anchor program, Camp Hochelaga, is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Champlain in South Hero, VT, and has been offering traditional summer camp experiences for girls ages 6-17 since 1919. For more than 100 years, each summer over 700 campers from all over Vermont, the United States and the world pass through the camp’s front gate and enter a place of adventure, self-expression, teamwork and life-long friendship.

Camp Hochelaga is an American Camp Association accredited camp and provides overnight, day camp, and leadership development programs that offer opportunities to explore a wide range of activities intended to build character, self-esteem, self-confidence, empowerment and leadership. Camp Hochelaga prioritizes social, emotional and physical safety, to create a magical place where camp traditions, fun, outdoor adventures, engaged staff mentors, and friendships combine to create unforgettable experiences. At ‘Laga, our core values of collaboration, kindness, leadership, and empowerment live at the center of all that we do.

In addition to camp, YWCA Vermont is proud to join YWCA USA’s national campaigns for Stand Against Racism Week (in April) and Week Without Violence (in October) to bring active legislation about racial justice and gender-based violence prevention at the state and national levels to our local community heavily through social media content. YWCA Vermont works to promote young leaders in environmental education with our Leaders on the Lake program (in May) and social justice advocacy with our Leaders on the Rise program (in September). Learn how you can get involved with YWCA Vermont today.