A sunset at Camp MacLean
Mar 8, 2024

Celebrating Jeff Tremmel’s 30+ Years at the Y 🎉

Earlier this month, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago celebrated Employee Appreciation Day — and we wanted to carry this energy of gratitude forward by extending a huge thank you and congratulations to Jeff Tremmel, Executive Director of YMCA Camp MacLean, who is taking on his 30th year as a full-time team member at the Y! 

Jeff’s history at the Y began long before he officially joined as an employee. Born and raised in Cook County, IL, Jeff spent a couple summers at YMCA Camp MacLean as a teenager, discovering a unique place where he was able to be himself and discover indepenence. The experience stuck with him, and in 1986, he spent nine weeks at Camp MacLean, completing the entire two-year Counselor-in-Training program in one summer! He loved the experience so much that he joined the camp staff in 1987 as a junior counselor. 

“Camp was my safe place away, and working there just seemed to be the natural thing to do at the time,” said Jeff. “As I put effort into my job at camp, I learned that I truly enjoyed the community aspect, and I viewed it more as a way of life rather than just a job. Taking on additional responsibilities and coming to learn that I was a leader among my peers and the campers empowered me to take on new roles and to always ask what the next steppingstone was.” 

After graduating from the University of Tulsa with a degree in Education in 1993, Jeff took a full-time role at YMCA Camp MacLean under the encouragement of his camp leader, Brian. Jeff credits his leadership skills on the amazing mentors he met at Camp MacLean, from when he was a camper and an employee. In 2011, Jeff was premoted to the role of Executive Director of YMCA Camp MacLean, helping lead the next generation of camp counselors in providing youth with unforgettable opportunities to learn life skills, develop positive character traits, and set out on the path of long-term success. 

With more than 30 years of experience at YMCA Camp MacLean (37 years to be exact!), Jeff pinpoints his proudest achievement as leading camp through and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to his and his team’s hardwork, as well as the guidance of the Camp MacLean Advisory Board and his Y mentors, Jeff was able to guide camp and youth through a challenging period of time. 

When looking to the future, Jeff looks forward to improving and growing Camp MacLean, continuing to provide a place where youth can empower themselves — spirit, mind, and body. 

"We have a solid strategy for growing camp, and I look forward to play a role in making that a reality,” Jeff said. “I also look forward to engaging with and helping devlope the future leaders of Camp MacLean.” 

Thank you, Jeff, for all of the dedication and hard work you’ve put into shaping YMCA Camp MacLean into an unforgettable place! For more than 30 years, you’ve helped foster connections, encourage growth, and develop the character of both youth and employees — all strengthening our community. We couldn’t be here without you!