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Becca & Kyl: Living Our Cause

Jul 30, 2015, 14:01 PM by

The YMCA summer camp staff members spend much of the school year planning and planning and planning. Providing engaging, healthy, safe, fun programming for hundreds of kids at several sites throughout the summer is no small feat. And once June hits, we all get to see the results of their effort—the scheduling, the marketing, the teamwork, the hiring, the training, the creativity.

That is why this month, we are recognizing two YMCA Summer Camp staff members: Kyl Caragol, teen programs coordinator, and Becca Mavk, senior program director of day camps. These two are pivotal leaders in making our summer camps what they are. Both new to the YMCA of Boulder Valley, they have brought a fresh, thoughtful energy to our summer camps and have helped make this summer a huge success (yes, we are bragging here). Both are passionate and practical, balancing their love for developing fun, kid-pleasing activities while ensuring that campers are safe as well as socially, mentally and physically engaged. In other words, they are awesome.


Name: Kyl Caragol

Kyl is a master of working with young teens. He finds a balance between encouraging smiles, teaching skills, keeping the peace (because, you know, middle schoolers) and adding in subtle life lessons. He is a true mentor, and his accepting, judgement-free nature makes him a valuable resource for our community's young people.

How long have you worked for the Y? 7 months currently; though, I have worked with Y camps before.

I work for the Y because… I want to be able to reach out to and impact as many youth as I can. I love that the Y encourages community-building and actively looks for needs in the community that are not being met and sets out to fill those needs.

The most fun part about my job is… I plan and run out-of-school-time camps for middle schoolers, so almost all of my job is fun! I especially love having them paint their faces before laser tag, getting them to attempt to guess what’s in the Camp Mystery Box, and the looks on their faces when they see that our camp bus is decorated like an insane pirate ship on the inside.

[pullquote]"Giving them unconditional support and encouragement to be their best selves is my primary goal at all times."[/pullquote]

The most meaningful part of my job is… When a kid tells me they feel safe while with our group, whether it’s verbal or nonverbal. I love seeing the youth transition and grow before my eyes over the course of a week or less. Sometimes the quieter ones get loud, and the loud ones can sometimes get more thoughtful. Giving them unconditional support and encouragement to be their best selves is my primary goal at all times.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned while working at the Y is… I already learned this one, but it always applies: No matter where a kiddo is from, what they look like or how they act, you can never jump to conclusions about who they are. Building a relationship based on mutual trust, respect, compassion and humor will get you everywhere—even with a middle schooler.


Name: Becca Mack

This year, Becca took on the humongous task of overseeing all of our day camps. If you didn't know, the YMCA of Boulder Valley runs Fun in the Sun Day Camps at six sites throughout Boulder County as well as Adventure Camps, Y Riders Camps, Teen Camps, Sports Camps, Skateboarding Camps, Lifelong Learning Camps and Blast Camps. The success of all of them depend of Becca's ability to manage, organize, envision, encourage and take action. She has proven herself to be a diligently hard worker and stunning leader who sees no task as too big or too small. She's the kind of person you want on your team. You can find her teaching archery to campers, leading trainings for camp staff, visiting camp sites, communicating with parents and more. Just a few more weeks, and she can relax…a little.

How long have you worked for the Y? I've been a full-time Y employee for 10 years and then I was a part-time/seasonal employee for 4 more years. I've been at the YMCA of Boulder Valley since January of this year.

I work for the Y because… I can see the difference that the Y makes in the community. And really, the Y changed my life.

The most fun part about my job is… I love working with the different staff members.

The most meaningful part of my job is… The children.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned while working at the Y is… The Y is like my family.

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