Mid-Summer Updates from Denise
The staff team we have this year is amazing and working hard to grow skills and character in the youth they are able to serve this summer.
It was literally a stormy start to camp this year. The storm hit us hard Wednesday night before camp was to start. We had several people come to help clean up camp to get ready. Thank you to all the volunteers from Harwood Lake, Corey Lake, neighbors from the Three Rivers area that heard we had damage, Rob & Julie Habicht, several YMCA of Greater Michiana staff from across the organization, YMCA Camp Eberhart Alumni, Kachur Tree Service, and of course Pete Fournier has been essential in our recovery repairs and refining camp. Thank you so much, we could not have done it without every one of these volunteers!
We are literally overflowing with campers! We have served record number of campers this year and it has been absolutely amazing along with our staff team doing such great work. Some of our staff team are doing college internships at camp this year and putting a great focus on improving programs and program sustainability. It is so exciting!
We are also fortunate to have the Krasel Art Center pop-up display in Klinger Hall for the remaining weeks of summer. The displays are to support the training our staff had to build resiliency. The pop-ups provide hands-on engagement for campers and staff for the skills of the Community Resiliency Model to manage stress and build resiliency. It is great to have our partners in the community support the work and impact we have on campers and staff to promote and support life-long skills in so many ways.
We have been blessed with the Barbara Emmons scholarship to offer the camp experience to youth from the South Bend community. These youth would not have the opportunity to experience camp without the scholarship and the impact on these campers is evident. The Benton Harbor-St. Joseph and Niles-Buchanan YMCA facilities also provided 10 scholarships to YMCA Camp Eberhart this year to youth who would not have the opportunity to come to camp. The alumni association provided scholarships to two Three Rivers School students that allowed local students the opportunity for an overnight camp experience. We have also partnered with the Empowerment Schools in South Bend and Benton Harbor Schools to provide opportunities for their students to attend camp. It really does take a village and I am overwhelmed with emotion how the collective impact of these opportunities has been able to support our local youth and provide such an amazing experience. It is certainly true, "together we can do more"!
Just this week we are sending home a group of 11 from YMCA Spain that has been here for 4 weeks. They are sad to be leaving and hope to come back next year because of their amazing experience.
Astro Camp had amazing night sky last week and the 22 campers in Astro Camp learned so much! Thank you to Steve & Linda Accuosti, Earl Todd, Darren Drake, and William Amos for their commitment and work to make Astro Camp another starring event!
We are looking forward to three more terrific weeks of camp!