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My "Y" stories from YMCA Camp Lakewood staff

June 07, 2017

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One component of our mission at the YMCA is to strengthen the communities in which we live. To help us fulfill that promise, we must live our cause every day by intentionally thinking, acting and communicating in a way that helps us do just that. One way we do this is by having staff and volunteers share their "My Y Story." Through these stories, staff and volunteers share what inspires them, what motivates them to do what they do every day and how they feel about the YMCA. Silver "The second week of camp, my first summer, I was told that we were going to have a special camper in the cabin and I was in charge of the camper.  I was extremely nervous and afraid that I would mess up and ruin the camper’s time.  The first night the camper went on to tell me that I was a terrible counselor because I had asked the camper to shower, it was heartbreaking.  As the week went on I came to realize how much fun I was having and how I didn’t want it to end.  The camper, later on, came back and told me that I wasn’t a terrible counselor, but I was a great counselor.   The week eventually did come to end and the camper left, and I noticed that something was different.  As the summer went on, I realized that the one week I was with my special camper was the hardest week I had all summer, but it still was my favorite week and I can tell stories for hours about my special camper.  I also decided at the end of the summer that I wanted to change my major at school and the reasoning for that was because of that one week.  I decided that I wanted to work with more special campers and then eventually be the Behavior Specialist." - Silver Flounder "My name is Flounder, and I began coming to camp when I was seven-year-old.  My mom asked me if  Camp was something I would be willing to try.  At seven, I thought, “Why not?”  I gave camp a try and had so much fun, but I never imagined it would turn into anything more.  A year later, it was sign up time, again, and I wound up attending another summer. Camp quickly turned from a fun summer activity to a home and refuge.  As I got older, I found myself not being satisfied with my life at school and home.  I was getting bullied in school and was not the happiest I could be.  That next summer, Camp was a place where not only did I have fun, but also a place where I was safe to be myself.  Camp released me of all my worries, stresses at home, and it allowed me to have a week where I could be myself.  I always looked forward to this one week every summer because I knew it would be a week where I could be myself, make friends, have fun, and do what made me happy. I came back to camp each year, thinking of it more and more as home.  When I got older I knew that my dream of being a counselor was something to pursue.  After my summer as a CIT, I was hired as a counselor!  I worked as a counselor and as a Waterfront Director for the past six summers.  I keep coming back to camp because there is no place in this world like it.  I get to make amazing friends, work with incredible campers, grow and have the opportunity to help others grow in their lives.  Camp has completely changed my life, and I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for camp." - Flounder  

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