Meet Our Day Camp Team: Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh, Sports Manager for the Elmhurst YMCA, grew up in McHenry, Illinois, and has participated in sports and various other recreational activities since he was young. In his spare time, he enjoys sports, working out, playing music on the guitar or keyboard, hanging out with friends, watching movies, and going to concerts.
Michael has always believed that recreation is important for the wellbeing of not only individuals but also communities. That’s why he majored in Recreation, Sports, and Tourism, earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois. Michael joined the Y in December of 2021 and is proud to be a part of an organization that truly understands the importance of providing high-quality experiences to all people throughout its communities.
Q: What is your favorite part of working at the YMCA?
A: My favorite parts of working at the Y are interacting with our members and either witnessing or being a part of lots of cool moments for our youth sport participants. I have very fond memories from when I played sports as a kid, so I truly enjoy watching the kids who participate in our programs make similar memories for themselves.
Q: What do you like most about the work that the Y does?
A: I like how much the work the Y does matters to so many people. There are countless reasons why someone may come to the Y, but what really matters is what they take away from their experiences here. I often see our members, and especially our youth members, make new friends, learn new skills, discover new passions, create positive memories, etc., and I like how these outcomes not only reflect on the quality of the work that the Y does, but how they also benefit our members outside the Y and in other areas of their lives. That’s what I like best about the work that we do.
Q: What is your favorite part about Day Camp at the Y?
A: My favorite part of Day Camp is simply how much fun it is! I like all of the programs that I’m involved with, but our Day Camp and Sports Camps are where I get to engage the most with our members and, at times, participate in the fun with them.
Q: What is your favorite memory from Day Camp at the Y?
A: I will never forget the first Friday cook-out I was at. Hot dogs are one of my weaknesses, so I am always very happy to participate in this weekly tradition.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career so far?
A: I’m most proud of how much I’ve learned and how much more confident I’ve become in my experience and abilities over the past few years. Finishing my education in the midst of the pandemic was challenging, but I feel I’ve rebounded well and done a good job of staying on my feet, and I’m proud of myself for that.
Q: What’s one thing people don’t know about you that they would be surprised to find out?
A: Since I’m “the sports guy,” I feel many people are surprised to find out that I also enjoy and used to heavily participate in the performing arts. I play several instruments, and when I was a senior in high school, I was very lucky to play the Phantom in my school’s production of “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be (and why)?
A: It may be cliche, but I think I’d want to have super strength because I often have to carry heavy or awkward objects, and it would be nice to be able to do that without getting tired.
Q: What’s the last song you listened to?
A: “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees.
Q: What’s one thing on your bucket list?
A: I would really like to visit other countries. If I had to choose only one as a bucket list destination, I would choose Ireland.
The YMCA of Metro Chicago believes in the power of play. We play for fun and for progress. Day Camp at the Y empowers Chicagoland youth to do mighty things — making friends, developing new skills, creating life-shaping experiences, and so much more!
Our experienced and talented counselors and staff are committed to making sure your camper experiences a full day of play, exploration, learning, and personal growth. Here at the Y, we want to show off our Day Camp team’s amazing talents and contributions to our community — and find even more talented, community-oriented individuals who want to work at the YMCA!