Milwaukee nonprofit organization Lake Valley Camp has adopted a new name that honors its founding philanthropist, former Kohl’s chief executive officer Bill Kellogg.
This week the organization rolled out its new name, the Kellogg PEAK Initiative, which leaders say reflects its evolution over the past 15 years from a summer camp to a year-round social-emotional learning and leadership program.
The organization was founded in 2002 by Bill Kellogg with philanthropic support from the Kellogg Family Foundation. The original mission was to provide an opportunity for Milwaukee youth to attend a residential summer camp in Boscobel.
“My dad has been blessed in his life and he always wanted to pay it forward and help the youth in Milwaukee,” said his son Kurt Kellogg, a member of the PEAK Initiative board. “He’s an outdoorsman, so his first dream was getting youth of Milwaukee to see the rest of the state and get into a camping environment they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.”
The organization has since grown to become a “lifelong leadership program” that includes school-based, weekend and after-school offerings, along with the summer camp, said Dan Schiller, executive director.
“The PEAK Initiative is one of Milwaukee’s hidden gems,” Schiller said.”Since 2002 we’ve reached thousands of Milwaukee youth. As our programs have evolved and grown into something more dynamic and comprehensive we realized the need to change our name to better reflect our mission and offerings. Camp is still a core component for PEAK, but it’s just part of what our young people experience”
Today, the organization serves more than 550 youth annually, drawing largely from the 53215, 53204, 53209, 53206 and 53205 zip codes. Many come from Bruce Guadalupe Community School, Milwaukee College Prep, St. Marcus Lutheran School and Prince of Peace School of Milwaukee. The PEAK Initiative’s headquarters is located at Tiefenthaler Park in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood.
With the rebrand, Schiller said it was important to recognize Bill Kellogg’s founding support for the organization.
“It’s very exciting to have my father’s name on it,” said Kurt Kellogg. “My father is very humble and likes to stay in the background. To have his name on it I think it shows his confidence in Dan taking it to another level and beyond.”
“PEAK” stands for Potential, Experience, Access and Knowledge.
“In short, it’s our goal for youth to reach their highest heights and to be as incredible as they can be so peak is a great word for that,” Schiller said.
Youth and their families worked with the organization’s stakeholders and board to help develop the new name and logo.
“We create a path of exploration, discovery, and character development that spans into adulthood,” said Demetria Smith, director of Urban Programs for the PEAK Initiative. “We continue to build programs with intention, listening to the needs of our youth, and make sure our offerings reflect their interests. The PEAK Initiative name captures all of this in its name.”