At Camp Wood YMCA we often refer to alumni, whether it’s regarding reunions, work days or celebrations. But what do we mean by alumni? Webster’s Dictionary defines an alumnus as a former member, employee or contributor. At Camp Wood YMCA, however, alumni mean so much more.
We are overjoyed to run into past campers or staff that have fond memories of attending camp 50, 60 or even 70 years ago. Our roots run deep and the love of camp even deeper. We also have many staff and campers that have returned year after year for 10-15 years. It’s a privilege to know this place has helped form happy, confident and successful adults. In addition to many generations and multiple years of commitment our alumni are also made up of 5-year-old mini-campers that will get their first camp experience this summer.
At Camp Wood, alumni are infants drifting asleep in their mom’s arms during a bonfire at family camp. They are students that spend the day exploring through outdoor education with their school group. Alumni are staff that have dedicated 20 years of service and they are local community kids that come for day camp. Alumni are board members and donors who haven’t been campers but recognize the impact and value of Camp’s mission and spend countless hours and resources seeing that mission come to life. Alumni are parents that invest in camp for their children even though they don’t get to experience it with them because they see their children come home more confident, independent and happy.
So, to us, alumni are more than a former member, employee or contributor. At Camp Wood, all are alumni and alumni are family. If there was any question as to whether you are an alumnus of Camp Wood YMCA, the answer is YES! If you have ever been a camper, staff, board member, contributor, or parent of Camp Wood, you are an alumnus. But more than that, if you have had Camp Wood impact you or allowed it to impact someone else then you are not just alumni, you are family and we couldn’t do what we do without you!