How Cosby Impacts Lives: Transition from Camper to Staff
By: Rebekah St.Cyr
Camp Cosby is such a special place to everyone involved.
“Cosby feels like my second home,” Jack said. Jack was a Cosby camper for ten years and a staff member for one year; Jack says his favorite memory from camp was his first summer when he stayed for three weeks unexpectedly for mini bike specialty camp.
Camp Cosby is more than just a camp- it’s a family. Cosby campers and staff travel from all over the world to join the special family. What keeps the family spirit alive is campers continuing to come back year after year. Your time at Cosby does not have to end when your camping days are over- many campers use the tools they learned to become a part of Cosby staff.
Troy University senior, Elise was a camper for eleven years before transitioning into staff and this summer will be her sixth summer on staff. Elise said, “I have learned how to go from a follower of a crowd to a leader at Cosby.”
At Cosby the transition from camper to staff comes naturally. Campers learn how to become leaders from the very beginning. Campers are given responsibilities such as cabin chores and choosing their activities- these responsibilities allow them to grow as individuals and gain more self-confidence. Cosby staff sets great examples for campers on how leaders should act.
This summer Elise will be Cabin Life Director, which is her “dream job” at Cosby. Elise gives credit to her amazing counselors for being the reason she continues to return to Cosby summer after summer.
Maddy, a former Cosby camper of five years is about to start her second summer on staff. Maddy said, “my whole role as a staff member is – to pour into the lives of the kids that pass through those gates.”
Cosby campers are in an environment where they are encouraged to be themselves and put themselves Third in every situation. “I AM THIRD” is the motto at camp: God first, others second, ourselves third.
Maddy said the most important thing she learned from Cosby was the motto- Maddy said, “it taught me to fall in love with the Lord and his plans for me, but then to recognize that my earthly role is also to put others before myself.”
Cosby counselors are leaving Cosby better than they found it from constantly picking up bendos to leaving lifelong impressions on campers- these counselors are making a difference.
Maddy said, “I want people to remember to put others before themselves and remember that even if you have accomplished something great, don’t forget to lend a hand to the person behind you. And don’t stop smiling while you do it.”
Camp Cosby is an experience that is a gift to everyone involved. Cosby staff is doing work that matters. Cosby teaches campers and staff to always be Third and these campers who grew into leaders are doing exactly that.
Cosby holds a special place in every camper and staff’s heart. This special place gives Cosby campers and staff the courage to shine bright in any situation.
YMCA Camp Cosby is a part of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham. To find a Y near you click here.
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