two ymca camp lakewood campers sitting on shore of lake

Hello from the shores of Lake Sunnen, and welcome to another installment of Couch to Camp! The days are getting warmer and the nights are getting shorter — summer is almost here! As we look ahead to camp, we know how important it is to focus on campers' wellbeing.

Our Trained Staff

Our camp staff come from all over the world and undergo extensive training prior to your camper's arrival. All staff are Red Cross First Aid and CPR certified, and many are lifeguards, as well. Our staff trainings cover everything from high adventure activities to behavioral support to even the silly words in each of our camp songs! In addition to all of our counselors, we have a team of support staff that includes unit managers, program managers, health staff, and behavioral specialists. Each of these team members work to make your camper have the best, safest, happiest experience possible at camp.

Help at Camp

Talk with your camper about how camp might be more tiring than school or days at home. But, be sure to remind them that the adults at camp are there to help them through it! If a camper feels ill, they might visit the Health Center or the TLC to see one of our qualified nurses for care. If your camper is experiencing some unusual or stressful circumstances outside of camp, we encourage you to share that information with us so our behavioral specialists can best support them. If your camper feels homesick or anxious at any point during their stay, we hope they talk with their counselors and unit manager so we can help them have a great time while they're here.

Feeling at Home

Campers will get some downtime during siesta after lunch, as well as before bedtime. This can be an important time for them to relax and unwind from a long day. We also encourage you and your camper to come up with a plan for their own wellness support. This might mean taking a beloved teddy bear they can hug, their favorite pajamas to feel extra cozy at night, or receiving letters from friends and family while they're here. Remember to write letters to support your camper! But, please don't include topics that may ignite feelings of guilt or shame. For example, don't mention how sad you feel that they're gone. Don't mention all the amazing fun you're having without them. Instead, do tell them how excited you are to hear all their stories after camp. Do tell them how you believe they'll have the most amazing time meeting new friends and learning new things.

Wellness and safety are our #1 priorities at camp, and we want to ensure every camper is set up for success.

Until next time!
Rose, Camp Lakewood Director