Normine Lombard is founded on the belief that we are responsible to feed our own future; and investing in youth is one of the main ways we believe that investment is made. Several years ago, our founders banned together with like minded community members in the Pacific Northwest region to create a non-profit entity, Columbia County HUB, also known as CCHUB.

CCHUB partners with many other local groups focused on uplifting youth in our area and through those partnerships offer programs that range from peer support groups to internship programs, job training and sponsorship of after school and summer youth activities. While I was at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, I had an opportunity to sit down for lunch with Alyssa Street, a coordinator with one of our longest standing partners, A Thousand Summers.  This group is seriously awesome, and I wanted to take a minute to highlight their program as they are at a point where they are growing, and they are open to taking on some new referral partners… meaning you can also be a group that gives kids access to THE BEST SUMMER EVER!

So, what does it mean exactly to be a partner? A partnership with this program entails, essentially, being their eyes and ears – arms and feet in your own community. It is through partnerships with groups like YMCA, CCHUB, and other youth related programs that they can find their campers. This program isn’t just about sending kids out for a fun summer, instead this is something that builds on itself year after year; allowing youth to grow their passion for the outdoors, independence, and leadership skills all at one time. Kids can enter the program as young as 10 years old and then they progress through their leadership experience each year. By their 3rd or 4th year at camp they are learning to give back, not only during their time away, but also while they are back home in their community. This skill is fostered through administration of a Capstone program. Once that is complete the camper moves into the leadership program and even has an opportunity to return after graduation to be a counselor! Don’t take it from me, check out this video which highlights, Zahir, one of the campers in the program!

One of my favorite parts about this program is that it allows these kiddos to leave their own backyard. They have camps spread across the US, and you don’t have to go to the one that is closest – you go to the one that fits your style most, as they each have different skill focus areas. Check out their current camp directory! And not to worry, part of the program is to help cover costs to get these campers to their final camp spot and back home… so the travel is all part of the deal.

If you are interested in learning more about partnering with the program, please send an email to If your organization is interested in providing sponsorship to this life-changing program, you can reach their corporate team at