Real Experiences from Campers & Counselors


From the Staff and Board 

“As a camp counselor in college I was able to see, first hand, the magic of Summer Camp.  The extent to which a child can evolve and grow from a few weeks of camp is tremendous.  The confidence gained, the friendships made, the character that is nurtured… are all experiences that last a lifetime. The Y offers many great programs, but few are as transformative for a young person as Summer Camp.” 
– Matt Mitchell, CEO Tampa Metro YMCA

“I grew up in leadership programs at the YMCA. During my teen years, I was able to participate in LIT (Leader in Training) camp, teen adventure camp, and the Leaders club. The team building skills I learned in these experiences have helped build my career skills. I learned to be the first to volunteer for any challenge that may come my way.  These programs grew my love for volunteerism, core values, and inclusiveness. I highly recommend sending your teen!” 
– Brittany Lindsay, Senior Program Director of After School and Camp

“I was fortunate enough to start my career as a camp counselor 12 years ago and I wouldn’t have preferred it any other way. Working summer camp helped mold me into the person I am today and helped me fall in love with the Y’s mission. Through camp I was able to build relationships that would last a lifetime. I met my best friend my first year working camp, who was later my maid of honor. I also have the pleasure of hiring my past campers years later who have the same passion for the Y’s mission. The Y and my summer camp experience years ago still have a positive impact on my life today.”
– Rebecca Roese, Membership Experience Director

“Serving as a Summer Camp Counselor at the Y will forever be a piece of my heart. The opportunity to work with children from all walks of life has paved the path for my own purpose. Summer Camp at the Y is a place where we all belong, and a place to call home.” 
– Meagan Springer, Director of Camping Services

“I started as a camp counselor 12 years ago and knew pretty quickly that I wanted to turn it into my career. The Y is a place where campers can learn, grow, and thrive.  Campers can make new friends, learn new skills, and experience new things and I love being able to be a part of that every day!” 
– Erin Fiedler, Senior Program Director

“Right from the start, I loved Camp Cristina so much. Camp Cristina was a place where I always felt I could be myself. I lived for the times I got to be ‘camp me’ over ‘school me’ and go hang out with my camp friends.” 

– Andrew Davis, YMCA Camp Cristina Board Member



From the Campers

“I love being at the Y because I can hang out with friends I normally don’t get to see! My favorite part about summer is that there are so many more kids who are my age so I like making those new friends.” – Megan

“I love seeing all my favorite counselors and friends every day! My favorite activities are the crafts and the sports we get to do during summer camp.” – Ella

“I love going swimming! I’m most looking forward to getting to swim every day at summer camp this year! I also love at the end of the week when the counselor of the week gets to choose if they want to eat it or wear it and we get to watch them get food poured all over them!” – Carlos

“My favorite part about the Y is that I get to play sports! During summer, in Sports Camp, I get to spend all day playing sports and that is what I look forward to every summer.” – Edreck

“At the Y I get to spend so much more time with my friends during the summer because they’re not in the same grade as me in school! I can’t wait for swimming every day during summer camp!” – Camila

“I love all the games we get to play and getting to spend more time outside! I also like that I get to spend all day with my friends!” – Olivia



From the Parents

“The Y is special because it is a safe place to make friends that become family. Summer camp is important to us because it helps build long lasting friendships and encourage the kids to be bold and try new things.”
– Tiffany M. (campers Asiana and Madden)

“My child looks forward to summer camp at the Y every summer because he likes experimenting with new activities. It makes me happy to hear his stories about new friends he’s made each week.”
– Susan (camper Kevin)