Shannon Payton
May 19, 2023 - Fry Family YMCA

Meet Our Day Camp Team: Shannon Payton

Shannon Payton, Operations Director of the YMCA Safe ‘n Sound program, is originally from Wisconsin. She received her degree in sports management with a minor in business and athletic coaching. Payton has worked for the YMCA for 30 years and joined the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago 22 years ago, where she has learned to not be afraid to try things outside of her comfort zone and keep educational opportunities. She enjoys spending time outdoors, participating in recreation and sporting events, anything to do with water, and vacations for family and friends.

Q: What is your favorite part of working at the YMCA? 

A: I enjoy the relationships and connections I have made over the years.

Q: What do you like most about the work that the Y does? 

A: I like that the Y is a place for children to be safe, build friendships, be able to be themselves, and learn and grow with others.  

Q: What is your favorite part about Day Camp at the Y? 

A: I love seeing the smile on kids' faces when they are having a blast! I also love the connections that our staff make with kids, parents, and their peers.   

Q: What is your favorite memory from Day Camp at the Y?

A: Working with international students from Senegal, Africa, during my YMCA job in Wisconsin.  

Q: What are you most proud of in your career so far? 

A: Being part of a wonderful movement that offers a place to belong! I have also enjoyed leading others and watching our young adults learn, grow, and find their passion. 

Q: What’s one thing people don’t know about you that they would be surprised to find out? 

A: I coached high school volleyball and softball for five years. I also played on a baseball team when I was young, where I was the only girl on the team.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be (and why)? 

A: Telepathy — being able to understand what people are thinking! 

Q: What’s the last song you listened to? 

A: “Thank God” by Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown.
Q: What’s one thing on your bucket list? 

A: Travel to Greece.

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!