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Counselors at Edmond YMCA camp aim to make experience memorable for kids

The Edmond YMCA runs a day camp during the summer for kids 5 to 12 that includes everything from arts and crafts to dodgeball.
by Matt Patterson Modified: July 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm •  Published: July 17, 2012

/articleid/3692980/1/pictures/1775647">Photo - Counselor John Kastner says he tries to share a positive attitude with day campers at the Edmond branch of the YMCA. Photos by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman
Counselor John Kastner says he tries to share a positive attitude with day campers at the Edmond branch of the YMCA. Photos by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

Making a difference

Jeannette Frazier, 32, has worked at the YMCA four years as a counselor and in her current administrative role handling check-ins in the mornings and answering questions from parents.

Her favorite part of being a counselor was watching the way the kids changed over the course of a summer.

“Some kids, they come in shy, and by the end they feel more up to learning new things,” she said. “That kind of growth is one of the most important things that they get out of the experience.”

Frazier also works with parents, something she said is important in making sure the kids get the most out of their camp experience.

“I get to know a lot of different people in this job. I like to help them with their questions because it's a good way to represent the YMCA, and when they understand what's going on, it makes for a better experience for their kids.”

But all good things come to an end. Kastner said spending five days a week with the same kids creates a bond that is hard to break, but at the end of the summer it is broken.

“You do get attached,” he said. “To see their smiles and excitement when they see you, it really makes it all worth it. You can tell you're making a difference in their life.”

by Matt Patterson
Reporter
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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