Camp begins in
301 days!

Empowering children and adults with disabilities



Marilee Payne

Special Education

Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp changes lives.

My name is Marilee Payne. Presently I am on the Board of Directors at Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp. But sometime in the 1980s I was attending Portland State University and I came to camp as a counselor to finish up my Master’s Degree in education. Dr. Steve Brannan had talked to me about doing this before, but with six children at home I didn’t feel it was feasible. But the time was right. This was absolutely a life changing event in my life and in the lives of my children and grandchildren. I came back the following year as staff and after working many positions, became the Director and am now on the Board (and in the Staff Infection Band). Ten of my grandchildren have been on staff and all of my children have been involved in the program in some capacity.

I was born in Portland and lived in Newport, Seattle, Bremerton and back to Portland. In these beautiful settings you can see that I have always been surrounded by water and mountains. That is where I feel grounded. Camp does as much for me in that sense as I do for it. We have a symbiotic relationship.

Favorite camp activity: It's hard to identify. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the campers as they are freely being themselves; and watching the transformation of counselors as they engage and bond in this life changing experience. My favorite activity at camp besides canoeing at the foot of Mt. Hood on a beautiful sunny day, swinging from the trees 30 feet in the air, or riding a horse on the trail, is swimming in the beautiful new pool. (I remember the old one).

Favorite camp song: How Could Anyone Ever Tell You Are Anything But Beautiful (because it says it all).

Team Woodsy or Team Smokey? I have to be faithful to Smokey-we share a birth year.

  • board page
  • previous bio