Out of the nearly 3,000 campers who attended YMCA Camp Ernst this year, Grace Leonardi was among the two percent of campers who won the prestigious Honor Camper award and Zach Krieg was among the two percent of 6-9 year olds who were selected for the prestigious Lakeview Legend award.
“These campers were a lot of fun to have,” counselor Alex Jones said. “They helped others all week and their leadership in the cabin made our jobs as counselors easier!”
A tradition since 1928, Honor Camper was created by Williard L. Wade, Camp Ernst’s founder, to recognize campers with outstanding character and leadership. A relatively new tradition, Lakeview Legend was created by the counselors of Lakeview Lodge to recognize the youngest campers who displayed the same qualities as an Honor Camper.
Camp Ernst’s staff of more than 100 individuals nominate and vote on campers who they believe display the YMCA core characters values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility at the end of each week-long session. After the counselors’ votes are tallied, both the Honors Campers and Lakeview Legends are publicly recognized during the week’s closing ceremonies. The counselors who nominated them read speeches about the campers’ impact on camp. Honor Campers are presented with a tin cup with their name engraved on it and Lakeview Legends receive a medal.
“These campers are very influential campers who have impacted their peers through sincerity and kindness in real, every day terms,” Camp Director Elizabeth Eli Cochran said. “We’re very proud of them.”