The Y has a long, proud history in camping activities and YMCA Camp Eberhart has been committed to nurturing youth development for more than 100 years. Not only do we provide a lifetime's worth of skills and experiences, but YMCA Camp Eberhart also strengthens the foundations of our communities through summer camp, specialty camps year-round, retreats, and other camping programs and activities for people of all ages, incomes and abilities.
At YMCA Camp Eberhart, we are a haven for learning and achievement for all children with the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility at the heart of everything we do.
CAMPERS ARE WEIRD (AND THAT'S A GOOD THING!)
“You know who’s weird?” asks Hagy. “Astronauts. Saints. Nobel Prize winners. Scientists. People with hobbies you’ve never heard of or are afraid to try. People who speak their minds. People with both problems and (gasp) solutions. People who are (enviably) not like you. Being weird means being noticeably different. It means being or doing something that makes other people stare, or laugh, applaud, or boo. And it’s something we all need to cultivate.”
She notes that “weirdness” helps you to stand out, command respect of others, and do whatever you like. In other words, be yourself and be happy.
In his new book, We Are All Weird, Godin embraces the notion that everyone deserves the dignity and respect that comes from being different.
At YMCA Camp Eberhart, we know that kids benefit from more opportunities to discover their individuality. When they make more choices and develop more interests on their own, they operate in ways that reflect their own unique values.
10 ways YMCA Camp Eberhart encourages you to be more weird (adapted from Hagy):
- Strike out on your own. Explore ideas, places, and opinions. Somewhere between the things to do and places to go, infinite possibility exists. The place everyone goes and the things everyone does is where are all the boring people hang out.
- Share what you discover. Not everybody went exploring with you. Let them live vicariously through your adventures. Tell your story to the world. (Add your story to our Facebook wall.)
- Do something. Anything. Swim. Play. Canoe. Sail. Take photos. Look at stars through a telescope. Build campfires and eat s'mores. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of ‘something,’ in case you were wondering.
- Embrace your innate weirdness. No one is normal. Everyone has quirks and interests unique to themselves. Don’t hide these things—they are what make you interesting.
- Have a cause. If you don’t care about anything, no one will care about you.
- Minimize the swagger. Egos get in the way of ideas. Let what you know show and you don't have to brag about it.
- Give it a shot. Climb the high ropes. Learn to waterski. Jump off Coop's Tower. Do something strange. If you never leave your comfort zone, you won’t grow.
- Hop off the bandwagon. If everyone else is doing it, you’re already late to the party. Do your own thing, and others will hop onto the spiffy wagon you built yourself. Besides, it’s more fun to drive than it is to get pulled around.
- Be bold. Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is.
- Ignore the scolds. Boring is safe, and you will just be told to behave yourself. Those who “could have”, “would have”, and “should have” but didn’t will be jealous of your adventures.