History of Camp Erdman

For nearly 100 years, the site of YMCA Camp Erdman has been a place to celebrate the outdoors, forge friendships, and more.

1916 — Frank C. Atherton returned from a mainland trip enthusiastic about a YMCA camp near Seattle and thought having a dedicated camp site would be of great service in Hawaii. Mr. Atherton proposed a committee to seek a site.

1903 First tent camping in Wahiawa with Youth leaders and boys.
1903: First YMCA of Honolulu camping trip in Wahiawa with youth leaders and boys.

1926 — H. E. Holt, Sr. took a committee to a 10-acre site at Mokuleia, near Kaena Point. Owner of the property, Walter F. Dillingham, leased what became Camp Mokuleia to the YMCA for $1 a year, provided that campers planted 1,000 ironwood trees on the property each year.

1920s Camp Mokuleia (Now known as Camp H.R. Erdman)
1920s: Camp Mokuleia

1931 — Walter F. Dillingham’s sisters, Marion D. Erdman and Mary Dillingham Frear, donated Camp Mokuleia in 1931 to the YMCA on Christmas morning in memory of Mrs. Erdman’s 26-year-old son, who had been killed in a polo accident. They asked that it be called Camp H. R. Erdman “so his spirit of contribution to the happiness of others carries on.” 

1931 Harold Randolph Erdman camp named after in 1931 when he died in a polo accident and 10 acrea camp donated by his mother Marion D. Erdman and Mary Dillingham Freer, sisters of Walter F. Dillingham
Harold Randolph Erdman

1967 — The YMCA of Honolulu worked with the Hawaii Department of Education to provide camping and outdoor education for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

Campers David Kaouiki and Fred Fukuroda
Campers David Kaouiki and Fred Fukuroda

Today — YMCA Camp Erdman continues to offer opportunities for thousands of all ages to explore our ‘aina (land), find new talents, try new activities, make lasting memories, and through a multitude of programs and camps, experience the Hawaiian culture and values connected to this special place: 

  • ‘Imi ‘Ike—pursuit of knowledge
  • Malama—to take care
  • Aloha—love and welcoming
  • Kuleana—privilege of responsibility
  • Na‘au Pono—trusting your gut to do what’s right; very important to trust your gut—teaching children to know when something does not feel right
  • Lau Lima—many hands make light work
Camp Pano