A Summer to Remember
End of summer reflection from Denise Peters, camp director

Dear Camp Family,

It's hard to believe that nine weeks of summer camp have already flown by. It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming the first session of campers. As this busy season winds down, I am able to reflect on my first summer as camp director at YMCA Camp Eberhart and what an amazing summer it's been. My heart is so full of gratitude for every person who supported camp in any way and helped make this summer so amazing!

To our amazing staff team who worked tirelessly to give our campers a summer to remember—thank you! We are so blessed to have a team who gives 10+ weeks of their summer to camp. Every counselor and team member gave their all every day, ready for any challenges or successes along the way. They were excited, energized, and inspiring, and it did not go unnoticed. This dedicated group made the summer possible, and I can't wait to welcome them back next year.

To our campers who arrived at camp and woke up every morning excited for the day and ready for anything—thank you! The energy during our nine weeks of summer programming is unmatched. There isn't a minute throughout the day without laughter, friendship, overcoming fears, or seeing someone trying new things, and that is what camp is all about. Whether this was your first year or your 10th, we hope you had a blast, and camp forever has a special place in your heart.

To our camper parents who took everything this past year and a half in stride and worked with us to provide your children with the best summer ever—thank you! We're so grateful that you shared your children with us this summer. We hope your child left camp with many stories to tell and take the lessons they learned at camp and apply them to their everyday life. You can be proud of everything your camper accomplished during their time with us.

To our dedicated alumni who are always willing to step in and help—thank you! At Camp Eberhart, we are blessed to have a strong network of alumni who think of camp as their second home. You regularly donate time, talents, and treasure; camp wouldn't be what it is without each and every one of you. A special thank you to our resident volunteers Pete, Nancy, and George for everything they do for camp on a regular basis.

While this summer was a bit different than year's past with COVID-19 protocol still in place, I am excited by our camp parent survey results. Of the over 350 surveys we had returned to us, over 98% of campers said they felt welcome at camp, over 92% said they learned a new skill, and over 96% said they would recommend camp to a friend. It's comments like, "My 14-year-old son came back from camp refreshed, confident, and incredibly happy. This was his 4th time as an overnight camper and it just keeps getting better every year," that really help paint a picture of what camp means to each of you. We are so grateful for your support and feedback.

This year, we also checked three more projects off our Honoring the Past, Building the Future Capital Campaign with the completion of the new Powder Room Bathhouse, Postle Day Camp Pavilion, and John Tanke Fire Circle. All of these much-needed, new, and updated spaces, made this summer so much better. Additionally, we are on track to break ground on a new Bathhouse to replace the Haunted House bathhouse and complete Obenchain Staff Apartments this fall. We are currently working on a master facility plan with Abonmarche Consultants that will guide us as we look ahead to more capital improvements at camp.

I am excited to continue my time here at camp, learn more about camp's rich history, bring in new and updated programs, and most of all, welcome you all back next year. It is exciting to imagine what the future holds.

Thank you again for a great summer!

Denise Peters
Camp Director
Chief Operations Officer
YMCA of Greater Michiana

Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 11:47am