Our president and CEO, Medhat Mahdy, has always said that it is not the buildings, but the people that make the Y — and we could not agree more when it comes to our YMCA Day Camp programs. Each year we are so impressed with the young adults that apply to join our team; for me personally, being able to see our staff that return year after year and develop into such incredible and passionate leaders is one of the most rewarding parts of my role as a Day Camps manager.
Dayna is no exception. Dayna started as a camp counselor when she was just 17 years old. She had an interest with working with children with additional needs and came to the Y to work as an integration counselor (1:1) at our Toronto Island YMCA Day Camp. In February of 2014 after four summers working as a counselor and senior staff on the Island, Dayna applied for the Camp Director role. She was completing her MA of Child Study and Education and knew this position would be an engaging, challenging, and fun way to take on a leadership role and strengthen her ability to connect with children and youth.
Dayna was hired and became our Toronto Island YMCA Day Camp Director for four summers, and added to her YMCA of Greater Toronto connections by joining the staff team at our YMCA Academy alternative high school in September 2016. “Aside from being the greatest job ever, being a Day Camp Director allowed me to grow both personally and professionally,” Dayna explains.
“The skills that I have taken away from this position are invaluable to my career as an educator and for future professional pursuits. Getting paid to be outside, working alongside incredible people, and creating a memorable experience for our campers sounds like a dream, but it is exactly what you get working for Y Day Camps.”
So what advice does Dayna have for anyone interested in applying to be a Y Day Camp Director? “Do it!” she exclaims. “It may be one summer, or maybe nearly a decade, but either way you will walk away with an experience that you will be forever grateful for. It will be the most rewarding, challenging, and growth-inducing role of your life, and you will wake up each morning excited and motivated to go to work. The summer will fly by, so absorb every moment!”
We are currently accepting applications for Camp Director positions across the GTA! Visit our website to learn more. And if you missed it last year, check out our interview with Kate, our former Winona Y Day Camp Director and also our “What we are looking for in a Y Day Camp Director” post!