It takes a unique type of "grown up" to take on the task of becoming a Swift Superhero, and Evan White is one of those unique grown ups!
Each Summer, Swift welcomes over 300 elementary school youth to the "best week of their life" through the Camp Swift program. It is here that the world truly becomes a different place entirely! Teen counselors take a week out of their summer vacation to cultivate meaningful mentor relationships with school age campers, grown adults dress up in hilarious costumes to explain camp rules, and there's even a "wonder dog" roaming camp!? It is here that one quickly learns that with everything Swift does- fun is just the start!
Swift is fortunate to have almost 40 years of experience partnering with teens, just like Evan, to create the path from present to potential through peer mentor relationships.
Since it's beginning in 1980, Swift has developed as an organization, now offering more year-round programming including out-of-school programs for elementary, middle, and high school youth.
Teen leadership development programs such as Club Swift, Club Swift Jr., and Team Swift aim to build on the skills learned at Camp Swift. These leadership skills can be utilized by teens throughout their school careers and grow with them as they graduate onto the next step towards their full potential.
Many adults that become Swift Alumni by maturing beyond the participant age-range, still choose to give of their time, talents, and treasure to Swift because of how deeply passionate they are about helping youth fulfill their potential. Evan explains, "As I've progressed in my career, I still feel it is important to support and volunteer with the Swift Youth Foundation."
Now, years after he was a teen counselor, Evan still enjoys returning to Camp Swift and other year-round Swift programs to volunteer. In addition to his volunteer service, Evan is a generous financial supporter of Swift who actively advocates on behalf of the organization.
Camp Swift 2018 celebrated the "superheroes" theme this summer and is grateful for grown up superheroes like Evan White who support Swift (especially when that includes dressing up as TanMan and promoting sun safety)!
Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and unbridled supporters of Swift. You are our superheroes!
The end of Camp Swift-Session 2 started with the last tasty meal at camp that will help fuel our camper's superpowers to total team and clean camp one last time. Once done cleaning their area, campers and counselors headed back up to their cabins to finish packing and getting ready for the exciting bus ride home.
All throughout the "best week ever", campers and counselors focused on so many of their different superhero skills like problem-solving and character building. Through all the programs that fill up their day, each cabin was able to learn new skills and improve upon old ones, but all while having fun.
From canoeing to ropes, campers learned how to better work as a team by utilizing newly made friendships. Especially through Shaboogie, the campers sought out opportunities to find their own superhero personality traits, so they can better grow into the amazing superhero that they want to be in the future.
One of the last activities that both campers and counselors participated in were the Camp Swift surveys. These surveys measure the influence of Camp Swift in key areas for both campers and counselors. For the campers, Swift surveys teamwork, perceived competence, responsibility, problem-solving confidence, and friendship skills. For the counselors, Swift surveys problem-solving confidence, family citizenship behavior, friendship skills, interest in exploration, teamwork, and responsibility. All of these key focus areas are life skills that can begin at Camp Swift but are also continually cultivated throughout the year through positive programs like Swift After School and Swift Saturday. In addition to continually developing our superhero powers we focused on at Camp Swift, these out-of-school programs are a great way to stay connected to all of our fellow superheroes.
To learn more about Swift Youth Foundation, click here.
To see more great photos and the slideshow from Session 2,
visit our Camp Swift 2018 page.
This edition of the Grilled Cheese Gazette was brought to you by Teanna Pilkinton, our summer intern who was a former camper who has returned for the past three years as a counselor for Camp Swift. Teanna also participates throughout the year by further developing her leadership skills through the Team Swift program. Teanna enjoys connecting with her campers all year during Swift After School and Swift Saturdays.
After breakfast, campers went back to their cabin to prepare for the daily competition of Golden Broom. The Golden Broom program is a positive method to encourage camper responsibility over their personal space and belongings. The Golden Broom winners receive an extra special otter pop surprise after lunch!
For lunch we were joined by Camp Swift's favorite superheroes, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup! Grilled Cheese brought the power of calcium and protein to the table while Tomato Soup shared the power of Vitamin C. Our superheroes welcomed the campers to lunch in cheer while the whole camp joined in colors of orange and red. After lunch, cabins went off to rest hour and youngest girls and middle boys went to the lake for canoeing. Canoeing isn’t the only opportunity campers have that they might not get in the city. Oldest girls had the chance to head up to the ropes course for team building activities such as a trust fall and walking across a tightrope.
Our afternoon was just as action-packed as our morning! The Oldest Unit got to play GaGa, a classic Camp Swift game. They also got the chance to conquer the rock wall, improving their perceived competence and belief that they can accomplish any task they set their mind to. The Middle Unit got to participate in tons of sports activities. During these activities, they showed responsibility by creating rules for their games and holding themselves accountable to these rules. They also got to work together as a team and had a great time. The Youngest Unit had cabin time, where they got to choose their own activity to participate in. Cabin time helps build friendship skills and campers get to practice their independence as they make choices about what activities they want to participate in.
Our last full day at Camp Swift concluded with a nutritious family-style dinner. The support staff spent the afternoon turning the lodge into Camp Swift superhero city with super hero decorations and staff in superhero costumes serving dinner. After dinner, the entire barn was transformed into a super hero carnival. Campers were able to play games and dance to music while enjoying their last evening at camp. We ended the evening with a beautiful slideshow which highlighted each cabin’s amazing memories at Camp Swift!
Thank you to Hillary Lorsch, Support Staff extraordinaire and featured author of this "fresh-off-the-grill" Grilled Cheese Gazette blog post!
The Grilled Cheese Gazette features blog posts from Swift staff, volunteers, and community members! Contact Us if you're interested in contributing to our blog!