Every Kid Needs a Friend

Having just moved from Virginia, Effy Green enrolled both her kids in Y Summer Camp hoping they would make new friends. “My son, Elijah, suffers from social anxiety and finds it hard to interact with people,” shares Effy. “My daughter is extremely shy and had a hard time making friends.” Effy was understandably worried how the siblings would fit in at YMCA Camp Cristina. “My fears were quelled because of the awesomeness of two fantastic counselors who installed a confidence and happiness in them that was refreshing to see.”


Two standout camp counselors with 8-year-old Elijah are Katie Muratti and Mike Schramm. “Katie was patient, kind and encouraging to Elijah,” says Effy. “Elijah became very fond of her and looked forward to going to camp. Mike helped Elijah with fishing camp. “Elijah immediately took to him,” recalls Effy. “He looked after Elijah even after the week of fishing ended.”


Since Elijah likes to express himself creatively, Katie bought him a notebook and encouraged him to begin writing and drawing in it. “Elijah would work on the book at home every day because he looked forward to reading it to Ms. Katie and Mr. Mike at camp,” share Effy. “How awesome is that?”


And not only did Elijah’s sister, Tiara, make a friend at camp, she made several. “My kids came home every day excited about the day they had,” testifies Effy. “I wanted to recognize these great inspirational counselors and thank them for making sure my kids had a blast this past summer.”


Although summer’s over, the relationships made at camp can last a lifetime. Thanks to generous donors and community support, tens of thousands of Y campers met healthy role models, tried new things, expressed their creativity and had the opportunity to get healthier. We can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

Pictured above: Elijah Green looked forward to sharing his creative work with his favorite counselor at YMCA Camp Cristina.

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