After a “soft opening” last week, today marks the full-fledged start of Y camp season across the region. Thus begins the timeless tradition of welcoming thousands of campers and their families to the start of Y camp, also known as “THE BEST SUMMER EVER!” This year the BEST SUMMER EVER was, appropriately, prepared for by the FIRST EVER, BEST SUMMER EVER CAMP KICKOFF! On Saturday, June 9th, some 325 (of the over 400 hired) counselors, junior counselors, activity leaders, and camp leaders who provide daily direct service to our campers and their families gathered to meet, prepare and “steel” themselves for a long, sometimes hot, and always unpredictable summer of fun and learning.
The training was held our new Y Camp Spencer in northern Harford County and began with energizing songs and games like those used for a camp opening rally. I was fortunate enough to be able to welcome the troops, along with Senior Vice President of Operations Bertram Lawson. We both commented on the positive impact Y camp can have on youth and the tremendous opportunity we have to role model our core values and create a camp culture of kindness and inclusivity.
Camp teams spent the day learning new games, songs, cheers, and facilitation skills, while building on the themes of developing strong relationships and a true camp culture. The energy and enthusiasm was amazing, as was the venue. The newly-minted camp associates were engaged, excited and ready to go. Special kudos go out to Lana Smith and the entire team who organized the day and have worked so hard all year to prepare for an excellent camp season. Well done all! I can’t wait to visit as many camps as possible this summer, and to witness firsthand the magic that is Y camp.
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland