The Greater Joliet Area YMCA’s summer volunteer program helps young adults gain meaningful work experience while providing extra care to our summer campers. We are proud to say that during the 2022 Summer Camp season, our incredible group of 25 volunteers provided more than 1,600 hours of assistance across our YMCA’s 10 campsites in Will and Grundy Counties.
“Our summer camp volunteer program has been incredibly successful and we want to thank our staff team for providing ongoing support to our volunteers this summer,” Volunteer and Community Engagement Director Dori Fugate said. “By seamlessly integrating our volunteers into summer camp programs, teens in our community were given opportunities to build new skills, take on new challenges, make new friends and just have fun, all of which are key as we develop our future leaders.”
Volunteers not only helped in day-to-day summer camp activities, but also lent a hand in the Y’s summer pre-school and sports camps.
“Children who attend YMCA summer camps participate in a wide range of learning opportunities, and volunteers play a pivotal role in delivering these educational activities throughout the summer,” Youth Development Operations Director Erin Lightbody said.
The summer volunteer program has also kept past YMCA campers connected to an overarching Y experience. Among this year’s volunteers were multiple former Y campers and, in some cases, past volunteers made a transition to the Y staff team.
“We had one individual who attended summer camp from elementary school through eighth grade, became a camp volunteer, and this year we hired him to work part-time on our Youth and Family team,” Galowich Family YMCA Youth and Family Director Catie Wallis said. “It’s just so inspiring.”
Fugate noted that the Y is flexible to the needs and availability of volunteers and that the program’s overarching goal is to help young adults maintain a connection with the community.
“Volunteering is such a great way to have a positive influence on our youth and goes a long way for our volunteers when they get ready to embark on college and enter the workforce in the future,” Fugate said. “I hope that our teens gain a sense of purpose when they volunteer and know that they’re making a difference in the lives of others within our Y and within our community.”