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YMCA of Greater Charlotte
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
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STORIES

When you send a kid to camp, you change lives. 

My son Michael* was a recipient of a very generous scholarship to go to Camp Harrison. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I cannot express how much the camp experience meant to him. He absolutely had the time of his life. He continues to share amazing stories, and I know I will keep hearing them for days to come. He sings camp songs all day and talks about the new friends he made. He also doesn’t stop talking about his wonderful counselors. They were the nicest young men ever. He really connected with them and built a strong bond. He wants to write and send them letters the rest of the summer!

Michael has always been a very independent child. One of the things we’ve struggled with at home is giving him enough freedom. He has two younger brothers and I have to work around the fact that they can’t do yet what he can do, which makes things difficult. Michael was able to be Michael at camp. He was with children his age, explored and was able to have the freedom he’s been lacking at home. I asked him if he ever got home sick and he simply said, “No.” I LOVE that! He was so busy with so many amazing activities and adventures that he didn’t have time to miss us.

Vespers and quiet time was a highlight for Michael. He loves Christ and loves being able to share that with others. He told me he volunteered for prayers and devotions. This meant as much to me as it did to him. I am very thankful for that element of camp. 

Without the generosity of the scholarship, it would not have been possible for Michael to go to Camp Harrison. We’ve never discussed with our children the difficult times we are going through. It felt so good for my husband and me to drop Michael off and for him to be like any other child. It truly has brought me to tears. We cannot thank you enough. As things get better for us financially we hope that in the future we can give back and help another child have the same opportunity and amazing experience as Michael was blessed with.

– Camp Parent

*Name changed to protect privacy.

JASON’S STORY
 
“In elementary school, I was made fun of for being low income. I lived with my grandma who had a disability so the only money coming into our house was a disability check and food stamps. And with three younger brothers, money was definitely hard to come by.
 
I was going into sixth grade when I learned that I would be attending a resident camp in Boomer, North Carolina on scholarship. I soon realized that the opportunity would become one of the most influential of my life. That first summer at camp, I had the most fun I've ever had, and my counselors directed me down the path that would help shape me into the man I am today. Each summer after, I was always so excited about going to camp. It's a place where I can always be me.
 
Today, I'm a freshman in college and have been a counselor for the same beloved camp for two years. I am even still in contact with some of my fellow campers from my first years at camp. I plan to go back this year for my ninth summer at YMCA Camp Harrison and am truly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the best camp in the world!”