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 Humble Beginnings (1936)

Founding Camp Police Officers

The Alexandria Police Youth Camp has a long and proud history. In 1936, the idea of a camp was born when Lt. Henry Grimm and Lt. Robert Brenner, both with the Alexandria Police Department, and Jack Tullock, a sports reporter for the Alexandria Gazette, decided to find a place for the children of Alexandria in the summer time. All progress halted during World War II.
After the war, Lt. Grimm and Brenner went to the Alexandria Police Association (APA) and told them their plans to start a camp. The APA endorsed the plan, appropriated $2,000, selected a Board of Directors, and authorized them to borrow $10,000 more to purchase a site for the camp.
In June 1946, the site 97-Acre site was purchased with a mortgage of $10,500 to be repaid in 11 years. Mr. Ashby Redmon, President of the Old Mutual Ice Company in Alexandria, agreed to back the loan. The APA started a campaign to raise $35,000 for the overall construction and operation of the camp. In June 1947, the camp was incorporated under Alexandria Police Boy’s Camp, Inc.
The name Camp Charles Herbert Grimm was selected at a membership meeting. Charles Herbert Grimm was the son of Lt. Grimm, who was killed fighting with the Fourth Marines on Iwo Jima on D-Day. The well-known athlete was 19 years old at the time of his death. Later the name was changed to the Alexandria Police Youth Camp when girls were invited to attend.

Partnership (2005)

police and y

In 2005, Alexandria Police formed a partnership with the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, now called the YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas.
The YMCA invented camping, so who could run a better camp? In 2006, the name of the camp was changed to YMCA / APYC Camp Kekoka (Kee-Koh-Kah). Kekoka is the Native American term that means “The center where all good things happen.”
Given our location just off the Chesapeake Bay, our tagline is Get Outside, Grow Inside. On the water, we do everything from sailing, windsurfing, tubing, kneeboarding, skiing, fishing, crabbing, kayaking, climbing, ziplining, and more. Along with the various water activities, we also have archery, drama, arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, a swimming pool, geocaching, basketball, an indoor recreation center, themed camp nights, campfires, and more. However, camp is much more than sun, fun, and water sports.
We incorporate STEM learning throughout the week. Whether it’s learning about oysters and their effect on the Bay, gardening, astronomy, and even time set aside for reading, campers are learning through fun. Our activities are based on our character values of caring, respect, responsibility, and honesty. Overnight camp provides a life-changing experience that kids don’t get at a day camp. At the end of the week, campers go home a little more self-confident, independent, and having met and made friends with kids from all over.


Camp Through The Years


air view of camp kekoka


1946: Property first opened for vacations for 125 boys
1947: Property renamed to honor Charles Herbert Grimm
1960: Girls invited to summer camp
2005: Partnership established with the Metropolitan YMCA
2007: First summer with new camp name, Camp Kekoka
2009: Partnership with Tidewater Oyster Gardener's Association
2014: New Dining Hall constructed
2015: First summer with new cabins
2017: Dock updated
2017: Confidence Course built
2017: Bathrooms updated