YMCA Camp Ockanickon
Camp Matollionequay
& Lake Stockwell

Posts made in August, 2014

Ocky Superheroes

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014

I cannot say enough about the amazing staff that I had the honor of working with this summer. These guys were just so dedicated to making a tremendous experience for every single camper that came through our gates from Session 1 through Session 6. They truly embodied the phrase from the old days, “the other fellow first.” They put the needs of others before their own for 9 weeks straight and did so with a smile on their face and never-ending enthusiasm. Many people talk about the “young generation” as kids who want things for themselves right now: the job, the money, the promotion, and overall, more benefits for less work. At Ocky, we see the exact opposite of this. These “kids” work themselves into the ground from 7am until 10pm or midnight every day, all summer long. Their paycheck is modest, they get 5 days off in 9 weeks, and they have more responsibility on their shoulders than most adults. They work hard, care like crazy, make something out of nothing time after time, and provide a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and strong arms to support our campers through all of their ups and downs. Countless times every day, each of our counselors face situations that make them think to themselves, “Brent did not mention this during Staff Orientation!” Then they put on their thinking cap, figure out a solution to the challenge, and then go find a new challenge. These guys eat, sleep, and bleed the color BLUE. They come back year after year for one reason: they believe in what we do and want to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. My hat is off to the staff of 2014! I am so proud of the amazing work that they have done this summer and I hope that every camper realizes how hard these guys have worked to make camp awesome for each child. Thank you gang from the bottom of my heart! Brent Birchler Boys Camp...

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Challenge Course Philosophy

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” I have had the fortunate honor of being the Challenge Course Program Coordinator for the past three years. Over those three years I have had sixteen staff members work on my team and countless others come and lend a hand when needed. This year I have watched campers who traditionally did not do well with high elements push past their fears and boundaries and achieve something that three years ago they did not think was possible. I would love to say that I am the reason for this but I would be lying to you. The teams I have been blessed to oversee need to take the credit. Their caring demeanor and positive reinforcement over the years has helped children grow leaps and bounds. The great part about this is the challenge course is not the only place I witness this happening. I see at the waterfront, in the villages, and even at meals. The staff that work here are the true definition of altruism. If you haven’t had a chance to meet these people I encourage you to find the time because who knows the impact they might have on you. Rich...

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