More Value at YMCA Camps: Teaching Core Values

YMCA campers are recognized for demonstrating core values at summer camp in Coatesville, PA

What makes YMCA camps better than others in our community? Other than the fact that the YMCA of Greater Brandywine camps are for everyone, each camp finds ways to incorporate the Y’s core values of caring (red), honesty (blue), respect (yellow) and responsibility (green) into each day.

In each camp, campers are recognized for behavior reflective of the Y’s core values.

  • Campers who demonstrate caring show their concern for others, their needs and their well-being. A camper who shares her snack with a new friend who may not have one is exemplifying caring.
     
  • Honesty is telling the truth, demonstrating reliability and trustworthiness through actions.
     
  • Respect is treating others as you would like to be treated, valuing the worth of every person. Not excluding fellow campers in a game or joke is an example of showing respect for others.
     
  • Responsibility is doing what is right, being accountable for behavior choices and actions.

All the YMCA of Greater Brandywine camps have unique ways of recognizing their campers. Among the great activities and colored core value bracelets campers receive at the Lionville Community YMCA camps, at the opening ceremonies each week counselors ask questions and come up with trivia relating to core values. For example, ‘what does showing respect look like?’ or ‘how do you demonstrate responsibility?’

In addition to morning discussions of core values and challenges put forth by characters and staff at the Upper Main Line YMCA, campers are introduced to the Praise Train – a mural of a train in the camp office. Campers can earn ‘smoke clouds’ for demonstrating core values. After earning them, their names are put on the clouds and posted on the mural with great fanfare!

The West Chester Area YMCA ends camp days with pow wows, as campers and counselors recap the day and discuss who used core values. At the end of the week, core value awards are presented to each group for each core value, 52 awards per week!

These are just a few examples of ways the YMCA incorporates core values into camp, and helping our children become all they can be!