Camp Diversity and Inclusion

Posted on 8/19/15 by Amanda Kelly

Dear Glastonbury Family YMCA

I am emailing today to commend your program director, Betsey Pitt and your entire Camp Glawackus staff.

My son, Ben, attended Camp Glawackus the week of July 13-17. I had contacted Betsey early in the spring to express my concerns about my son attending your camp, and whether it would be the right "fit" for him. Confidentially - Ben has high functioning autism (Asperger's) and ADHD, and struggles socially and with paying attention. Because he is very high functioning, however, it is always difficult finding the right match for him with programs like summer camp. Like all kids, however, Ben wanted very much to attend camp this summer. So, I decided to try your program.

From the moment I met with Betsey in March, she put me at ease and assured me that my son was welcome at your camp, and that she and your staff would make sure that he had a positive experience. They did just that, and in spades! The staff was notified ahead of time, and a leader-in-training was assigned to keep a special, close eye on Ben during camp days. All of your counselors were kind and patient with him. Your LIT, Christine, worked especially closely with Ben and she did an exceptional job (I am dropping off a separate thank you card for her at your offices this week.) A few other counselors also took the time at pick up to take me aside to tell me about positive moments Ben had at camp each day. For the mother of a child that struggles like Ben, hearing compliments and positive stories means a great deal to me. Seeing Ben smiling and having a great time at camp - well, that was the icing on the cake!! I will never forget your staff's kindness.

I have read a great deal about the YMCA's focus on tolerance and inclusion with children of all abilities, and your chapter is a shining example of this policy. Thank you again to Betsey and your entire camp staff for a fantastic week at Camp Glawackus - Ben had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back next summer!

Very sincerely yours,

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