July 10, 2018

How Erin Penzel Went From Y Kid to Staff at YMCA Camp MacLean

When Erin Penzel was five years old, her mom took her to the annual Craft Fair at YMCA Camp MacLean, where she fell in love with camp for the first time. In the years since, Erin attended day camp, overnight camp, and everything else she could. Growing up in Burlington, Wisconsin, the positive role models at YMCA Camp MacLean inspired Erin to start working in the summers and volunteering when she could. Camp became a second home for Erin, where she made friends who are like family and discovered a passion for teaching. 

Five years ago, Erin joined the staff at YMCA Camp MacLean, and this summer, she's serving as the Counselor-In-Training Director. During the school year, she attends the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where she's majoring in education. She says the YMCA helped shape her career because it allowed her to work with kids and inspired her to become a teacher. As the C.I.T. Director, she is teaching new counselors how to be good role models for the children they're responsible for over the summer.

“For me, being a C.I.T. was my favorite year as a camper because I learned that I really have a knack for working with kids and it led me to my future career goal of being a teacher,” Erin reflects. This will be her fifth year on staff, and she is excited to pay it forward to a new set of future counselors.

YMCA Camp MacLean provides overnight programs ranging from three days to two weeks for boys and girls between 7 and 16 years old. The camp's goals are to increase self-esteem, provide a small group living experience, teach life skills through activities, and make sure every camper has fun.

To learn more about YMCA Camp MacLean, click here. Spots are still available for 2018 summer camps!