Healthy Kids Y Stories YMCA Camps and Outdoor Education

How Marcellus learned and grew at YMCA Day Camps

Day Camp Director teaching outdoor skills.

Early bird registration for YMCA Day Camps begins today! It’s an exciting time for us for many reasons, but especially because today marks the start of a new session of camper stories and experiences — like this one from last summer, courtesy of a 10-year-old camper named Marcellus.

Coping with change can be a tough experience for many kids, so when Marcellus learned that he was moving to a new day camp, he was understandably concerned. Marcellus had made lots of friends at his old camp, and was extremely proud of all the Values Beads he had collected. “He holds the bead bracelet close to his heart,” explains Melissa, Marcellus’s mother. But this doubt and nervousness quickly turned to excitement when Marcellus met “Wiki,” the director of his new day camp: Hampton Enniskillen.

Located in a conservation area in Hampton, Enniskillen’s program meant Marcellus and his fellow campers got to explore the wooded areas, grassy fields, creeks, ponds, and trails, as well as utilize the Education Centre Classroom facilities. “He learned very quickly that Enniskillen was just as much fun as his old camp,” says Melissa.

Marcellus’s interest in camp peaked when their group began learning about different types of knots and their uses — especially after he discovered he could earn a bead for mastering this new skill. Wiki describes Marcellus as “constantly hungry for knowledge,” and reports that he was the first camper to use knots to build a shelter, would help counselors set up rope barriers for certain games, and even took time to teach other campers how to do the knots he had learned.

Melissa noticed that attending YMCA day camp expanded Marcellus’s curiosity. A highlight for her was that every day Marcellus would jump of the bus and into her car with a “Hey mom, guess what?!?” and proceed with story after story of what he learned at camp that day.

Wiki identifies Marcellus as “a leader” at camp last summer. Marcellus himself is already thinking about taking a leadership role at a camp one day. He says he wants to “be a counsellor, because I like being a leader and it looks like a lot of fun.” We are excited to see what Marcellus can achieve this summer, and to hear all about his “Hey Mom, guess what?!?” stories.

Have a “Hey Mom, guess what?!?” story of your own? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. To register for YMCA Day Camps, visit our online eGuide.