CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Tri-County YMCA Camp High-Tor in Putnam County is a 52-acre camp that serves children ages 5 through 17. Children participate in activities designed to help them develop confidence and foster independence while focusing on the YMCA's core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
The camp has age-appropriate games, swimming, crafts, hiking, sports and field trips that will provide an experience of a lifetime for each child.
Most impressive is that the Tri-County YMCA never turns away anyone for the inability to pay.
One of the camp's senior counselors, when asked why she felt camp was important, told about a shy little girl that came to camp at the end of her kindergarten year. Every morning, she would cry and have to be pried away from her mother, and she'd tremble in fear and nervousness. But after a short time at camp, this same little girl would jump from her mom's car in the mornings without even slowing to wave goodbye, running to join the other kids.
The little girl's mother, thrilled with her daughter's new level of confidence, credited the camp environment and staff for the wonderful changes.
Veteran camp counselor (and Tri-County YMCA family services director) Angel Bannister told about her recent encounter with a former camper:
"The boy and his sister had attended Camp High-Tor from elementary school into high school," said Bannister. "He was one of those kids who was a real challenge for the counselors. He was extremely energetic, ornery, and sometimes defiant."
He's now a senior in high school, a member of the local volunteer fire department, and has been accepted to college in the fall.
"He reminded me of some of his experiences at camp and told me how his summers at Camp High-Tor had kept him out of trouble," said Bannister. "And he said the relationships he built with his peers and counselors helped shape who he is today."
Donations to the Gazette Charities Send-A-Child-To-Camp Fund can help other children in difficult circumstances experience summer camp, and 100 percent of every donation goes toward funding camp scholarships.
For information about Camp High-Tor, visit its Web site at http://tri-countyymca.org/summercamp/camps.html or by calling Angel Bannister at 304-757-0016.
Credit card donations can be made to the Camp Fund by clicking on the Camp Fund logo on the Gazette's Web site, or at http://wvgazette.com/home/Camp. Donations also can be mailed to the Gazette Charities Send-A-Child-To-Camp Fund, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301.