Everyone Belongs 2

posted by on Apr 3, 2017

At CYJ, everyone belongs. We all work together, respect and learn from one another, making the camping experience better for everyone.

Let me show you what I mean…

Ben is a young boy with autism who has trouble making friends, and figuring out social situations. At first, he had a hard time connecting with the campers in his bunk. One day, he asked his bunk-mate, Aaron, if he could play ping pong, and Aaron told him ‘no’.

When a counselor wondered why Ben couldn’t play ping pong, something interesting happened. Because Ben was ‘too weird’ he couldn’t play, but what if Aaron couldn’t play because he was ‘too short’? In that moment, with that simple question, Aaron realized that everyone is different, and that’s not a bad thing.

Ben and Aaron started playing ping pong together that day, and played everyday until Ben went home. Aaron and Ben were sad when they said good bye at the end of summer, and are still friends to this day.

This story of friendship warms our hearts, and proves how powerful acceptance can be for any camper. Each camper wants to feel accepted, and respected, no matter what their differences may be. By showing campers that accepting our differences makes everyone’s camp experience better, the resulting friendships, confidence, and personal growth can be life changing.

Learn more about our camp’s philosophy, or reach out to our staff to learn more about CYJ!