Marissa started going to YMCA Camp Weaver when she was 6 years old, over 11 years ago. Marissa has always been a stand-up camper, helping other campers overcome their fears and learn new things. She will be entering our Leadership in Training (LIT) program this summer as a rising sophomore in high school. The Leadership in Training program is a one-of-a-kind program at YMCA Camp Weaver that is designed to build leadership skills, group skills, self-confidence, and character. During this program Marissa will help her counselors and fellow campers work on a service project for the betterment of camp. Marissa has already volunteered for several hours of service to the camp over the past year, working on a variety of projects from helping in the office with filing and organization to assisting the maintenance department with landscaping and grounds clean up. Marissa displays the type of leadership skills and character traits we love to see in YMCA program participants. Cultivating these important skills and traits is what the YMCA is all about and we are proud to see our campers develop into well-rounded community-minded young adults. After completing the LIT program, Marissa will be entering our Counselor in Training program this coming summer, where she will continue to learn and grow in her leadership mindset, she is sure to become a great role model and mentor to a great number of campers.

Get to know Marissa and her experience with YMCA Camp Weaver’s leadership programs a little better through a few interview questions:

What is your favorite part of being involved with Camp Weaver?
I love the friendly atmosphere, I feel completely at home at Camp Weaver and everyone is always so nice and welcoming. Also, love the relationships with the people I have met through Camp Weaver and the Y, I have made a lot of lasting friendships.

In what ways have your experiences with camp helped you in your life outside of camp?
I have learned to take things will a grain of salt, In high school I try not to judge people off of what others say about them. And I try to be a leader at school as well, like in classes, be someone to answer the questions, sit with people who you haven’t sat with before or who may be sitting alone or need a friend. My brother is a professional musician and has open mic nights. When I go to those I encourage the people there to go up to the mic and try new things and be confident in their abilities and overcome any fears they may have.

In what ways has YMCA Camp Weaver helped you to be a better leader?
I came into the program at such a young age, some of the staff know that I used to be shy but now I have been able to come out of my shell and talk to strangers and be more outgoing and willing to meet new people. I have learned not to ever judge anyone based on physical appearance. People are complex and come from different backgrounds, there is no short answer to people, you don’t know everything about them by meeting them the first time, camp has helped me become more aware of that. I have learned to be encouraging, to help people try new things.

If you could describe Camp Weaver in one word what would it be?
Bitter-sweet. It is a wonderful place to be, the best place really. Honestly my favorite place in the world to be, I love when summer comes around and look forward to it all year but then it’s always sad to leave at the end of the summer.

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