Optimist Children's Camp

Legendary Camp

We provide children with special needs a legendary summer camp with quality care, meaningful fellowship, and maximum fun!

COVID-19 Statement

It is with much sadness that we announce that the 2021 Optimist Children’s Camp scheduled for August 1st – 7th, 2021 has been officially canceled due to concerns over COVID-19.  The sponsoring Billings Optimist Clubs met and there are organizational issues that cannot be overcome in time to safely hold this year’s camp.  The exceedingly difficult decision was made to cancel the camp now so the campers and their families along with the volunteer counselors can plan their summer accordingly.

The Optimist Clubs of Billings are committed to serving the youth of our communities safely.  Again, this was a very difficult decision to make, but the safety, health and wellbeing of our campers, volunteers and staff will always come first.  The Optimist Children’s Camp has operated since 1967 and this is only the 3rd  time in our 54-year history that we have been unable to provide the camp for children with special needs.

Even though this year’s camp has been canceled, we are already shifting our focus to planning the 2022 Optimist Children’s Camp!  We look forward to putting this all behind and us and getting back to providing children with special needs a legendary summer camp with quality care, meaningful fellowship, and maximum fun!

Go to Fundraising


Annually, Optimist clubs in the Billings area raise funds to contribute towards the cost of camp.

Go to Volunteer


We rely on the hard work of our volunteers to make the camp successful. Please contact us if you would like to be on the camp committee or camp volunteer. Counselor applications are available in the spring of each year.

About Us

Optimist Camp is jointly operated by 4 Billings area Optimist Clubs
Legendary Camp for Legendary Kids!

The Optimist Children’s Camp was started in 1967 as a joint project of the Billings area Optimist Clubs. The weeklong camp is held annually outside of Red Lodge, Montana for approximately 50 children with special needs. Volunteer counselors and staff make sure the camp is safe and enjoyable for campers that look forward to attending this camp year after year. During camp, kids have the opportunity to experience activities such as fishing, hiking, swimming and camping in the mountains while giving their families a week long respite from their normal everyday activities.

Camp Team

We couldn't do it without you!

Alan Niven

President – Optimist Children’s Camp Club
Alan has been involved in the Optimist Camp Club since 2001, and President of the official Optimist Children’s Camp Club since its inception in 2013. Responsible for calling and running club meetings monthly, he is determined to ensure the camp is successful year after year.

Kaylee Bradley

Camp Director
Kaylee has been involved in camp for over a decade! In 2019, she took over as Camp Director. At camp, you’ll often see her surrounded by campers interacting and socializing with her!

Jay Strever

Charter Camp Club Member
Jay has been involved in the camp from 2003 – 2017 as club treasurer/secretary, Jay continues to be influential in camp operations by providing his talent to the club and the kids it serves. At camp, you might see him playing golf or bowling with the kids on carnival night!

Brett Schneider

Brett got involved in camp the day he went up to see what it was all about. You can usually catch him on carnival night helping with the football toss or at the photo booth. Involved since 2008 after becoming an Optimist member, he continues to be active in the club.

Travis Heckel

Recreation Leader
Travis has been active in camp for many years and has recently taken the position of “Recreation Coordinator”. He has a passion creating enjoyable experiences in the outdoors for our campers!

Shawn Ashcraft

Past Camp Director
Shawn was camp director from 2008-2018. He is a natural leader with an educational background to meet the needs of youth at camp. In 2019, his family grew and he’s a new Dad! He’ll be actively working with our new director in the background to provide support with future camps.

Many Others!

This is a placeholder for EVERY PERSON who makes this camp a success. Countless volunteers work tirelessly making camp a success. Send us a bio and why you’ve been involved in camp – we’ll post it here!

Latest News

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