Annie V.

YMCA Camp Seymour

YUSA Access Grant Recipient
 
Annie readily admits that she arrived at YMCA Camp Seymour with a degree of uncertainty to rival her excitement. A first-time camper, she had no idea what to expect, and she was afraid to try new things in front of a bunch of people she had never met before. "Before I came to camp, I wasn't into a lot of hobbies or activities, and I wasn't really giving anything a chance," she recalls.
 
But things started to change for Annie as she adjusted to her cabin and got to bond with some of her cabin mates, sho joined her in morning inspiration and camp activities like journalism, kayaking, and 3D art. Slowly but surely, Annie began to open up and emerge from her shell, gaining the confidence to participate and risk and grow.
 
Out of all the fun camp experiences, one in particular was especially meaningful to Annie- the YMCA Rag Program, a longstanding camp tradition. The program is a progression of spiritual and personal growth that involves staff and peer counseling and symbolic bandanas. On the last evening of camp, all campers who feel they are prepared to accept the challenge of pursuing the goals for the rag for which they are striving, meet for the induction into the Raggers society.
 
"When Annie asked me to tie her blue rag, it was the greatest feeling," said cabin leader Madeline Lane. "Her goals were to take the experiences from camp and apply them outside of camp, to speak her mind and try new things."