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Camper for a day!

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Camper for A Day

A large part of what connects people to YMCA Camp Sloper and other Y camps around the world- is our stories. As the Marketing Director for the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA, I too wanted to be able to share my own story about YMCA Camp Sloper.  Growing up, I unfortunately never had the opportunity to attend a day camp or any camp for that matter.  I spent most of my childhood and even some of my adult life, wondering what it would be like to go to camp.   Over the last year, I have spent many hours out at YMCA Camp Sloper taking pictures and interviewing campers and counselors, however, I myself never got the full camper experience—until last Friday, when I was encouraged to become a “camper for a day.”

I drove into the YMCA Camp Sloper parking lot and was filled with all sorts of emotions; I was excited, nervous and little scared. All these feelings felt all too familiar to me, I was having flashbacks to my first day of school. I knew I would be challenged to try new things, meet new people, and push myself to do things that were not familiar to me. I took my backpack, water bottle and lunch out of my car and headed into the office to sign in.

My first stop: Morning Announcements!

Along with 400 other East Coast Campers, I made my way down to the amphitheater for mornings announcements. As I sat down, I thought to myself “how will the counselors get all of these campers to settle down and listen?” Before I could even finish my thought, Justin, our East Coast Director stood at the front of the amphitheater and he commanded the attention of all 400 campers…I was amazed!  

Archery, Waterpark, Tower, Paddle Boarding… OH MY!

After morning announcements, I was able to try archery, climb the tower and high ropes course, race around the trike track, swim out to the waterpark, paddle board around the pond and explore Crystal Minds. I truly felt like one of the campers. With every obstacle or challenge I was met with, there was either a counselor or camper right there to encourage me to continue. By the end of the day, I was having so much fun, I didn’t want to leave.  Even though I never got to experience camp as a kid, I feel that even as an adult I took away the same experience and memories I would have had I attended as a kid. I left camp feeling more independent and confident, and I overcame fears and surpassed my own goals. I would like to thank Christina Simms, Mark Pooler, and all the campers and counselors at YMCA Camp Sloper for making my day as a camper such a memorable experience.


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Guest Sunday, 18 November 2018