This is what the Aunt of one of our Summer Campers (Pickens Site) had to say:
"Last summer my 9 year old nephew spent weeks at the Pickens YMCA summer camp while visiting from Miami, Florida. He had just lost his dad a few months earlier, and both he and his mom were having a very rough time due to their sudden and tragic loss. The trauma of his dad's death had sent him into a dark spiral and this grief stricken little man was lashing out at those around him. His uncle and I hoped that some time away from home would help both he and his mother through this difficult time in their lives. Before we drove down to bring him back to Pickens, I needed to make arrangements for him to have a place to be during the day while we were at work. I drive by the Pickens YMCA everyday to and from work, so it was a logical choice for us. I registered him for the 2 weeks, and brought him to camp the first day, hoping that it would go well. The first week was touch and go, as he was acting out by not participating, not listening, refusing to eat lunch, and being disruptive in general. Each day at work, I sat waiting for the phone call from the counselor with yet another incident. It was clear to me that he may not be able to continue attending if this went on. I firmly believe that any other camp would have given up on this little guy, but because of the YMCA's ministry, and the counselor's willingness to keep trying to work with him, he made it!!! By the end of the second week, he was not only an active participant, but his new found friends inquired if he could stay on for the rest of the summer. On his last day, he was given a Bible as a gift, along with some phone numbers to call his new friends. Most of all, with the help of the Pickens YMCA, and the wonderful people running the program, he came to realize that there is joy out there, not all sadness and hurt. I cannot stress how thankful I am for the program, the people, and the prayers that helped this troubled boy see that there is joy in living. He is looking forward to this year's visit, and the time he'll spend in the summer camp program. Kudos to all!!"