Youth in summer 2021 practiced fish cutting skills at Camp Sivunniigvik, run by Aqqaluk Trust, near Noorvik in Northwest Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Aqqaluk Trust)

For immediate release
March 3, 2022
Contact: Eleanor Huffines, The Alaska Community Foundation

(Note: Rasmuson Foundation is partnering with The Alaska Community Foundation on this project. We are sharing their press release here.)

Anchorage, AK– Alaska organizations once again can seek support to create quality experiences and expand access to youth camps across the state. The Camps Initiative is the result of a partnership between Rasmuson Foundation and The Alaska Community Foundation to provide well-staffed, safe environments for Alaska’s youth to enjoy. The project also is meant to offset the pandemic’s distressing effects on youth programs in the past two years. Nonprofits, tribal groups, faith-based organizations, and local governments all are eligible for awards.

This year, organizations can apply for up to $15,000 per camp location/site, with a potential total of $45,000. To learn more about the Camps Initiative and apply, go to

The deadline to apply is March 24.

This year’s effort is built on the success of the 2021 partnership, which included the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services and the Municipality of Anchorage. The “Open for Summer” Camp Initiative awarded $1.56 million to 83 programs across the state.

“We are so grateful for Rasmuson Foundation’s foresight in establishing this affecting and necessary program,” said Nina Kemppel, CEO of The Alaska Community Foundation. “It has made a significant impact on the well-being of Alaska’s youth and their families, and we look forward to continuing the support this year.”

A representative of Best Beginnings, whose Little Learners reading program was a grantee in 2021, said: “Little Learners virtual camps fill a crucial gap in at-home, literacy-rich experiences for families with children ages 2-5. Thanks to this critical grant, we’ve been able to expand and improve the services we provide.”

Reporting the grant’s impact in 2021, Kenai’s Challenger Learning Center CEO Marnie A. Olcott said, “COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our community, both in the social and emotional needs of our youth and in economic terms for our families. Challenger Learning Center used our Camps Initiative grant funds in a variety of ways to help continue our mission of inspiring students through science, technology, engineering and math.” She continued, “In addition, these funds allowed us to offer scholarships, making our camps available to every child who wanted to attend, regardless of financial situation.”

“The Camps Initiative started with a simple idea: Help more kids go to camp, and enrich their experience,” said Rasmuson Foundation President and CEO Diane Kaplan. “We were encouraged to see how camps adapted to the challenges of the pandemic with virtual programming and new strategies that allowed camp to happen while keeping kids safe.”

[Download press release here.]


About The Alaska Community Foundation
Established in 1995, The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) is a statewide platform for philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that
matter. Managing more than $165 million in assets and over 2000 funds for the benefit of Alaskans, ACF and their Affiliates we grant out $7 million to
$10 million in charitable gifts charitable projects and nonprofit organizations across the state. ACF’s mission is to inspire the spirit of giving and connect
people, organizations, and causes to strengthen Alaska’s communities now and forever. For more information, visit or call 907-334-

About Rasmuson Foundation
Rasmuson Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans. Main funding areas are homelessness, health care, the arts, organizational and community development, and human services including projects to address domestic violence, child abuse and services for seniors and people with disabilities. The Foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband, E.A. Rasmuson.