As summer draws to a close, we remember Greg Loomis, the founding executive director of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. Loomis, who passed away suddenly in 2011 started the Campership Program so that the children of Walnut Hills could engage in outdoor activities provided by the YMCA Camp Ernst Youth Program. The YMCA values of honesty, caring, responsibility and respect are still core to the YMCA Camp Ernst Youth Program.
Camp Ernst is Greater Cincinnati’s premier residential camp. At the northern Kentucky location, consisting of 365 acres of woods, fields, creeks, hiking trails and a lake, the campers enjoyed swimming, zip-lining and boating, as well as numerous other activities. The children are encouraged and rewarded to grow in body, mind, spirit and friendship. An exceptional staff helped the children enjoy each and every moment of their camp experience!
The Greg Loomis Campership Leadership Team joined together to assure that each child had everything they needed to make their camp experience successful. If campers need a bathing suit, we took them shopping and bought them suits. If they needed a sleeping bag, a bag was provided. And, most importantly, the team recruited campers and then kept communications open during the week of camp. Each camper also received a t-shirt and a snack-pack.
The campers made lasting friends and lasting memories. Everyone wants to go back again next year.
Here are the remarks of two of our campers.
"I had a really great week of camp and met 13 new friends. We still keep in contact after camp ended. My cabin had the best counselors that you will ever meet! They were so nice! My new sleeping bag that I received was so soft and comfortable. It kept me warm on chilly nights. My favorite part of camp was the ropes course and the memory stick ceremony, where I got to throw a Popsicle stick with my favorite memory written on it into the fire. I also enjoyed getting mail from my sponsor. ~Maya Cotton age 12
"I had a really fun time there. I wish I could go again! The thing that I liked the most was air walking and zip lining. I am thankful that I was chosen to go. My best friend at camp was Milo and I found out that he goes to my school!" ~Miles Cotton age 6
We invite all of our campers, their families, supporters, partners and friends to join us for a Campfire Celebration scheduled for October 8, 2016 from 5-8pm. The Celebration will take place in the empty lot at the corner of Park Avenue and McMillan. Participants will enjoy roasting hot dogs and marshmallows and singing familiar campfire tunes. Snacks and drinks will also be provided. Let’s celebrate our campers in the memory of Greg Loomis!
We would like to thank our organizational partners: Myron Bush Recreation Center, Frederick Douglas Elementary, Activities Beyond the Classroom, Melrose YMCA, St. Francis DeSales School, Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, Walnut Hills Area Business Council, the Walnut Hills Business Group, the churches of Walnut Hills and the YMCA Camp Ernst Youth Program.
We appreciate the continued support in promoting the growth and development of the children in Walnut Hills. If you would like to find out more information or like to be a part of the Greg Loomis Campership Program, please contact Tom Conlan Jr. at (513) 607-7918.