A Single Act of Kindness

By Andrew Talamantes, Summer Camp Social Media Specialist

Being born and raised in Stockton, CA all I have ever heard about the YMCA was their song. I had no idea about the great things they do for the youth and community. Looking back, I wish I was able to partake in the activities that they offer, growing up while I was in the valley. This summer I had the privilege of working alongside an amazing staff at the YMCA association office and visiting different camps across the bay area. It was here that I was able to meet YMCA camp directors, all of whom had amazing Y stories to share. The best part by far was seeing the smiles on the kid's faces while playing sports and enjoying activities at camp. Seeing them make close friends with other campers they didn't even know existed a few days prior to camp and soon being really close in only a matter of days was inspiring and made me feel happy for them. It reminded me of why I wanted to give back to my community and was so grateful to be given such a great opportunity to represent the Y.

Kids at summer camp

A highlight of my summer experience happened when I visited the YMCA's Rocketship location in San Jose. I was doing my normal rotations around the classroom to see what the students were up to that day. A couple of students were playing a game of "spike ball", a popular game amongst the campers. After observing the game for a few moments, a couple of campers asked my name and not too long after that invited me to play with them. I think this small act of inclusion speaks to the beauty of the YMCA camp, itself. Even though someone can be a stranger one minute, it only takes a single act of kindness to change.

It's amazing what this camp can do and has done for kids growing up and looking to make new friends. Overall, I really enjoyed connecting with co-workers at the association office, campers, and leaders on site. I'm grateful for Rachel for being a great mentor and boss during my role as a social media specialist for the YMCA this summer.