On April 19th to 21st the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP) had the opportunity to spend the weekend at Camp Chief Hector YMCA in Kananaskis Country. For some of our youth this was the first time they had been apart from family overnight so there was some nervousness on the bus on the way there. This melted away as we arrived to camp, met the wonderful camp staff, and started taking part in the wonderful activities we had planned.
Some of our youth had never been to the mountains before and were struck by the beauty all around us at camp. Cameras were out and one of the youth captured the incredible changing sky behind campfire. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to share the beauty that both Camp Chief Hector and Canada has to offer with our youth.
A sense of belonging emerged right away for the youth whether it be icebreaker games in the cabins in our pajamas, working as a team climbing up the dangle maze, building a fire together and tasting s’mores for the first time, or presenting in the “YMAP’s Got Talent” show with the new friends that they had made.
Everyone was included, youth built life long memories and strong friendships over the course of only a few days. The different YMAP groups who don’t normally meet together were undetectable – YMAP was like a very large family. A large family who loved to do the Harlem Shake, and who were eerily good at charades!
Some of the YMAP youth commented that Saturday was the best day of their lives and that they can’t wait for Graduation, Summer Programming, and the Summer Picnic. Their weekend at Camp is one that they will never forget.
Thank you to the YMAP youth, Camp Chief Hector staff, and YMAP staff and volunteers for helping everyone make incredible camp memories.
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