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DayCroix Welcome Center will serve multiple purposes

Hudson architect Michael Huber made these drawings of the planned DayCroix Welcome Center. The building will double as a meeting and dining space for up to 250 people. 1 / 3
Leaders in the campaign to build a DayCroix Welcome Center include, front from left, Al VanDenBroeke (Camp St. Croix board member), Steve Santos (board member), Michel Tigan (board member/past board chair), Tracy Habisch-Ahlin (board member) and Camp St. Croix Executive Director Amy Schneider; back, Tom Kranz (YMCA vice president ), Rob Howard (former board chair), Stew Erickson (board member), Jason Fredrickson (board member), Tom Madigan (board chair) and Michael Huber (Welcome Center architect).2 / 3
The floor plan of the future DayCroix Welcome Center.3 / 3

Fundraising has started in earnest for a welcome center at YMCA Camp St. Croix that will also serve as a conference center, year-round classroom space and storm shelter.

The camp hosted a breakfast on Jan. 16 to unveil plans for the building and encourage donations toward the $1.1 million it will take to complete it.

The building will be located on the old farmstead on the north side of the 400-acre camp that is the location of the summer DayCroix program.

YMCA Camp St. Croix is located between County Road F and the St. Croix River just south of the Hudson city limits. It has a mile of riverfront property.

DayCroix is a day camp for children ages 4-15 that has grown in popularity. Last year, it served 2,585 campers, including 1,243 from the local area.

The day camp provides all the activities that the overnight camps do -- water sports, game-playing, crafts and more -- but the children go home in the late afternoon.

Currently, the noon lunch is served under a large pavilion, but there isn’t a good place on site for the children to go in bad weather.

The new welcome center will provide a storm shelter, as well as indoor classrooms, restrooms, a dining hall, offices and a place for parents to drop off and pick up their children.

YMCA leaders also envision the Welcome Center meeting a community need for a conference center. The large meeting room will accommodate dinner seating for up to 250 people.

“We want Camp St. Croix to be top of mind when people think of places to hold an event,” Michel Tigan, a Camp St. Croix board member and past board chair, told last week’s breakfast audience.

Tigan, the St. Croix Valley branch director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said Camp St. Croix is very dear to her heart because it changed her life.

She was 6 years old when she attended her first day camp. She later went on to overnight camping and the youth leadership program. As an adult, she joined the camp’s board of director and served as the board chair.

Other speakers noted that the camp’s impact goes beyond the St. Croix Valley, reaching thousands of youth in the Twin Cities area with programs that establish positive values and build self-confidence.

Hudson architect Michael Huber will design the welcome center, which will be a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building.

Huber also designed the new King Leadership Center at Camp St. Croix – one of 65 buildings on the campgrounds.

Camp St. Croix Board Chair Tom Madigan of Hudson said environmental education is one the camp’s missions.

Construction of the welcome center is planned for 2015.

For information about making a tax-deductible donation toward construction of the welcome center, contact the camp at (715) 386-4380 or You can learn more about the camp online at

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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