The long-standing partnership between Kiwanis and Wyman

Kiwanis and Wyman’s Partnership
Wyman has had deep partnerships with many community organizations throughout its history. One long-standing partnership has been with the Greater St. Louis area Kiwanis Clubs. 

As Wyman and the St. Louis community emerged from the Great Depression in the 1940s, the Greater St. Louis area Kiwanis Clubs provided leadership and financial support to ensure Wyman was able to continue its work. Members of several area clubs led the effort to enroll the clubs as sponsors of Camp Wyman. According to Kiwanis records, about 1,200 Kiwanians agreed to pay $1 per year to the camp association, and around 30-40 local clubs became sponsors of Camp Wyman.

From the 1940s-1970s, Kiwanians often participated in volunteer days out at camp. Many recall these volunteer days as being focused on maintaining the camp cabins. Each cabin sported the name of a Kiwanis club that agreed to sponsor and maintain it. Clubs from around the region had cabins or sponsored campers.

In addition to volunteering, Kiwanis Clubs raised funds to construct camp buildings and landmarks, including Catfish Lake, the Health Lodge, modern cabins, and the Council Ring. Catfish Lake was built in the 1980s with funds raised by Bridgeton Kiwanis. In 1986, the Inter-Club Council donated $30,000 for septic improvements at Camp Wyman. In 1990, West St. Louis County Kiwanis donated $25,000 to Camp Wyman and between 2011-2020, Chesterfield Kiwanis donated $55,000.

The list of clubs who have supported Wyman over the years includes Bridgeton, Hampton-Midtown, Creve Coeur, Ferguson, Kirkwood, West County, Georgana, Spanish Lake, Jennings, O’Fallon, Southside, Gravois, Webster Groves, University City/Clayton, South County, Downtown, Maplewood, St. Charles, St. Clair/Union/Washington, Festus-Crystal City, Harvester, Meramec Valley, Maryland Heights-Westport, Glendale-Kirkwood, Normandy, Southwest St. Louis, St. Peters, Troy, Chesterfield, Arnold, Cottleville-Weldon Springs, Farmington, Florissant Valley, Arcadia Valley, West St. Charles County, and Crestwood-Sunset Hills. 

The dedication of local Kiwanis Clubs was honored in 1979 when Camp Wyman officially changed its name to Kiwanis Camp Wyman. This remained the organization’s name until the late 1990s when it was changed to Wyman Center to reflect the evolution of Wyman’s mission to include both camp and youth development programs. At this time, a board resolution was approved to honor the historic relationship with Kiwanis, naming the campsite as Kiwanis Camp Wyman until 2003. Additionally, Wyman’s address was changed to Kiwanis Drive, and remains so today. 

Kiwanis and Wyman’s Partnership Today
Kiwanis clubs in the area continue to support Wyman, through financial support and volunteering at camp. Kiwanians often request donations to Camp Wyman in their obituaries and Wyman’s endowed funds include several estate gifts from Kiwanians and their families.

Several local clubs have established memorial funds for members, including:

  • Creve Coeur Kiwanis
  • Chesterfield Kiwanis
  • Crestwood-Sunset Hills Kiwanis
  • Kirkwood Kiwanis
  • Maryland Heights Kiwanis
  • South Side Kiwanis
  • Webster Groves Kiwanis
Learn more about Kiwanis here