Seattle City Light provides electricity and electrical and conservation services to its public and private customers. It is the largest public utility in the Pacific Northwest. Public responsibility for electrical energy dates to 1890 with creation of the Department of Lighting and Water Works. In 1902, Seattle voters passed a bond issue to develop hydroelectric power on the Cedar River under the administration of the Water Department. Electricity from this development began to serve Seattle in 1905. A City Charter amendment in 1910 created the Lighting Department. Under the leadership of Superintendent James D. Ross, the department developed the Skagit River hydroelectric project, which began supplying power in 1924. Both public and private power were supplied to Seattle until 1951 when the City purchased the private electrical power supply operations, making the Lighting Department the sole supplier. The Boundary Project in northeastern Washington began operations in 1967 and supplied over half of City Light's power generation. By the early 21st century, approximately ten percent of City Light's income came from the sale of surplus energy to customers in the Northwest and Southwest with the remainder of City Light's financial support coming from customer revenue. The current name of the agency was adopted in 1978 when the Department was reorganized.
The Skagit Youth Camp was operated by Seattle City Light's Community Relations Division under Director Mary D. McKinney between 1991 and 1996. The program was a response to Mayor Norm Rice's directive to city departments to maximize resources on behalf of the city's youth. Each year, the program operated seven five-day summer camp sessions for economically disadvantaged, "at-risk" youth (ages eight to fourteen) from Seattle and the Skagit Valley.
The camp utilitized City Light facilities at Newhalem and Diablo and aimed to contribute to the mental and physical well-being of the children by providing them with outdoor recreation and living experience, as well as educating them in environmental awareness. Activities included hiking, swimming, canoeing, sports, drama, and arts and crafts, as well as drug and alcohol awareness. The Skagit Youth Camp also participated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program, serving breakfast, lunch, and a snack to qualifying children five days a week during the summer months.
The camp was headed by the Camp Director, who oversaw its operation through an On-Site Director, Program Leader, Health Services Coordinator, Administrative Specialist, and seven camp counselors. In 1997, operation of the Skagit Youth Camp was transferred to the Department of Parks and Recreation due to budget problems. The Parks Department ran the summer camp for one season; it was discontinued the following year.
The Seattle City Light Skagit Youth Camp records include administrative records, meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, end-of-season reports, and promotional materials. Camper and counselor evaluations, parent handbooks, and correspondence from parents and campers are also included. Issues covered include program proposals and development, enrollment, fundraising, camper qualifications and recruitment, staffing and organizational structure, budgeting, the Summer Food Service Program, and the transfer of the camp to the Parks Department.
The 1990 edition of the American Camping Association's Standards Organizer for Day and Resident Camps is also included; this publication serves as a tool for organizing the materials necessary to achieve camp accreditation. It covers standards for personnel, site and facilities, aquatics, health care, and various other aspects of camp administration. Skagit Youth Camp officials' responses to the standards, as well as relevant information such as correspondence and interview questions, are included.
Restrictions on Access :
Records are open to the public.Preferred Citation :
[Item and date], Seattle City Light Skagit Youth Camp Records, Record Series 1208-03. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.
Detailed Description of the Collection
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.