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YMCA of Greater Charlotte
YMCA of Greater Charlotte
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The Bandana Program tradition defines YMCA Camp Thunderbird. 

Our Bandana Program rewards campers for hard work and motivates them to set goals in all activities. Created in 1983 by Wes Stevens, Scott Pitts and "Captain" Bill Carraway. The bandana program is a progressive program within our land and water activities that takes kids from an “on ramp” experience of an activity to the highest level of skill mastery within our activities.

Each activity includes four levels of achievement that campers strive to reach: Red (beginner), Blue (intermediate), Silver (advanced) and Gold (expert). To pass each level and receive a card, campers complete certain tasks. We award points for each card: red card=1 point, blue card=2 points, silver card=3 points, gold card=4 points. We keep a master card on record for each camper. Each year a camper returns they can pick back up where they left off the previous year. A camper’s progress is tracked, monitored, and saved on an electronic system which stores and records all their cards, points, and bandana levels.
Campers achieve a red bandana with 12 points; blue bandana with 36 points; silver bandana with 72 points and gold bandana with 120 points. The double gold bandana was created in 2007 when a need was observed for further engagement once campers reached the gold milestone. After a camper successfully completes their 120 points needed for a gold bandana they are eligible to do it all over again and try for 240 points and a double gold bandana.
YMCA Camp Thunderbird traditionally awards bandanas on the final night of camp at a camp-wide ceremony. Campers choose which staff member they want to recognize their achievements by awarding them with the bandana. The recognition ceremony is often the highlight of camp!
To qualify for any bandana, campers must show good citizenship in their activities and in their cabin by demonstrating the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. We recognize Gold bandana and double gold recipients by name and year on a large displau that hangs in the YMCA Camp Thunderbird Dining Hall.

The bandana program is a key element in a camper’s experience while with us. We believe that it allows campers to set attainable goals, engage in a diverse selection of activities, and have a sense of accomplishment as they journey through their activities. These experiences culminate into a larger sense of belonging as your child interacts with staff and peers in each activity and in their cabins.