Swift Youth Foundation is proud to announce we have be chosen to be the beneficiary for the 2018 DancIN'spiration show presented by the local dance company: DanceMotion. DanceMotion not only teaches dance, but also inspires young dancers to give back and share their talents with the community. Swift is lucky to have Sophi Moyer, a DanceMotion dancer, as a member of our Team Swift teen leadership program. Sophi nominated Swift to benefit from the event and has been instrumental in connecting DanceMotion and Swift. Below, please read a letter from Sophi describing the event and why she decided to nominate Swift to be the beneficiary.
May 24 - Support Staff Orientation
May 25 - Counselor Orientation
May 26-May 30 - Camp Swift Session 1 2018
July 30 - Support Staff Orientation
July 31 - Counselor Orientation
August 1-August 5 - Camp Swift Session 2 2018
Other Dates to Know
Pre-Camp Orientation - all counselors are required to attend one of the following dates:
May 6th: 1pm-4pm
May 12th: 9am-12pm
*Both pre-camp orientations are held at 17835 N 44th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Don't forget to stay connected with Swift through the newsletter and be the first to fill out your volunteer application when they are released in February!
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Share the Swift Newsletter with them!
In honor of National Bosses Day, we sat down with Kaylie and asked the important questions...
Grilled Cheese Gazette (GCG): First things first, have you ever found the teriyaki tree?
Kaylie (K): I’ve found many phantom Teriyaki Trees, but am still on the quest to find the real Teriyaki Tree.
GCG: How did your #SwiftStory begin?
K: My #SwiftStory began when I was 15 years old and volunteered at my first session of Camp Swift. I was immediately hooked, and I haven’t missed a session of Camp Swift since!
GCG: What’s your favorite Camp Swift tradition?
K: My favorite Camp Swift tradition is the flashlight pass we do in cabins on the last night of each session of camp. Campers and counselors sit in a circle and reflect on their time at Camp Swift – they talk about the activities they especially enjoyed and relationships they’re especially grateful to have built. The flashlight pass is an intimate and beautiful culmination to a session filled with new experiences, new friendships, and new opportunities and dreams for the future.
GCG: What’s your most impactful #MissionMoment?
K: My favorite #MissionMoment was the first time I got to see one of my previous campers as a counselor. With the introduction of our Club Swift program in 2010, former campers were – for the first time – able to return to Camp Swift as counselors. Club Swift provides former campers who are now in high school with leadership development training that prepares them to provide the same impactful experiences that they benefited from when they were kids. Getting to experience seeing my former camper now inspiring campers of her own was a true full-circle feeling of happiness and pride in knowing that what we do at Swift truly does make a lifelong impact.
GCG: What’s your favorite part of working for Swift?
K: Besides getting to see first-hand the life changing mentorship experiences we provide, I love that I get to talk to people all day about the organization that truly inspired me to get involved in nonprofit work in the first place! Plus, I get to bring my dog to work, so that’s pretty cool too.
GCG: Would you rather eat grilled cheese for lunch every day until you are 108 or only wear clothes from the Krazy Keppies store?
K: While both of those options sound pretty darn good, I’d say Grilled Cheese because 1. I can’t get enough grilled cheese! and 2. If eating grilled cheese every day is the secret to living to 108 I’ll take it!
Camp was full of fun and exciting activities today planned by our unit heads and special programming director! Oldest unit had an exciting game of capture the flag on the sports field after ‘Golden Broom’ cabin clean up. Two cabins were paired up and then played against the other two oldest cabins. One team wore red pennies and the other wore green pennies to help teams differentiate each other. It was a playful game of two hand touch and the winners made it all the way to the flag and back without getting touched.
Middle unit planned an afternoon of water Olympics! Cabins got in their bathing suits and met on the sports field for 2 hours of water related games! The cabins started out played Drip, Drip, Drop, a version of ‘Duck, duck, goose,’ where the players use a sponge to drip until they find who they want to tag and then they squeeze the sponge out on top of them. Then the campers played a couple water relay games and then ended with a water balloon toss which eventually turned into a water balloon fight.
After dinner, campers headed down to the barn for the Swift Carnival! There were games from mini golf to bowling and a photo booth to a friendship booth. There were a couple performances through the night, one by support staff rapping about camp and another by campers who went to the dance class during camper’s choice and learned a choreographed dance by support staff members, Ellie and Allison.
Campers went back to their cabins and had flashlight pass, this is where campers pass a flashlight around and when the flashlight gets to them they have a chance to share a favorite moment or activity from their time up at camp.
The next morning campers were served a healthy breakfast of yogurt and cereal and then packed up their bags to say goodbye to their cabins. Each camper enjoyed a packed lunch on the bus and were accompanied by a counselor and support staff member to help with their journey back home.
Session 1 Camp Recap
Leaving home can be hard for both the campers and their parents but the amount one gains from the experience of camp is worth more than one may ever know. Campers enjoyed a home cooked meal 3 times a day and slept in cabins with 11 to 14 other people. This week campers learned about Japanese culture while making dessert sushi, they worked on controlling their emotions with stress relieving activities like Play-Doh, they learned team building activities at the ropes course and the Rock Wall, and did science experiences with creating a parachute to keep an egg from breaking! Campers made new friends and became closer with old ones. The values that are taught at Camp Swift can be brought home and used during their everyday lives. Staff and counselors look forward to seeing campers at after school programs and other youth activities the organization puts on throughout the year. To learn more, follow our blog or read more on the about page!
Mark Kaplan: Outstanding Board Member 2017
Mark Kaplan is the proud recipient of the Outstanding Board Member for 2017! We interviewed Mark to find out more about what he loves so much about Swift!
Q: How long have you been involved with Swift?
Mark: 22 years
Q: What is your favorite Camp Swift activity?
Q: What is your favorite thing to eat at Camp Swift?
Mark: Whatever I make for snacks
Q: What is your greatest/most memorable experience with Swift?
Mark: Too many to count in my 22 years. Many years, many tears (of laughter and joy) But two are lasting memories :1) The road from near disbandment to where we are today. 2) Watching my kids grow up with Swift from coming up as pre-teens with me to volunteer, to being counselors and now support staff.
Q: What has Swift given you that makes giving back to the organization worth your while?
Mark: The pride of accomplishment and achievement in our goals and expanding programs - a dream being fulfilled. And, of course, being able to be a part of the Happiest Place on Earth. Peace, Love, Happiness!
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!