Meet Our Day Camp Team: Eric Palmblad
Eric Palmblad, Regional Sports Director at the Foglia and Sage YMCAs, was born and raised in Lake Zurich, Illinois. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Sports Management, as well as a minor in Business Administration. In his free time, Eric loves being outdoors playing golf, softball, and beach volleyball. He’s been married to his wife, Michelle, for almost two years and has two cute dogs named Kona and Reba.
Eric interned at the Foglia YMCA in 2006 while he was finishing his undergraduate degree, and he loved it so much that he made it his career and has now worked at the Y for more than 16 years! He’s served in a variety of roles, including intern, youth sports counselor, Sports Director, Regional Sports Director, and more!
Q: What is your favorite part of working at the YMCA?
A: My favorite part of working at the Y is getting to meet all the new families, kids, and parents. I enjoy coaching the kids to try and get them to that next level and seeing the smiles on their faces when they accomplish their goals or something they have never done before. The relationships that we build at the YMCA is something that is hard to come by working in other jobs and businesses.
Q: What do you like most about the work that the Y does?
A: I think the way we treat the families and children that walk through our doors every day is second to none. We have so many different offerings that an entire family can participate in at the same time. Whether it’s our workout facility or group ex classes for mom or dad, swim lessons or sports programs for the kids, as well as summer camp offerings and family events, each and every person and family has something to enjoy when coming to the YMCA.
Q: What is your favorite part about Day Camp at the Y?
A: Watching the kids learn and play outdoors. I am a big outdoors guy, so being outdoors and playing fun games and activities with the children is a blast for me. Seeing new and returning smiling faces is why I enjoy helping with camp and youth programs year round.
Q: What is your favorite memory from Day Camp at the Y?
A: My favorite memory from Day Camp has to be our Foglia Idol talent competitions. We have so many kids excited to do some sort of performance, whether it’s singing, dancing, magic, comedy, etc., these kids thoroughly enjoy showing off their talent in front of the rest of the kids, parents, and counselors.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career so far?
A: I think my longevity as well as my commitment to the YMCA is what I am proud of most. I am very reliable and a team player for all departments, as well as special events, volunteers, and camp. I think bringing back the full day sports camps to Foglia has been a big accomplishment as well, since we went years without them. We now offer this weekly throughout the entire summer, and have 30 to 50 kids [ages 6 to 14] each week.
Q: What’s one thing people don’t know about you that they would be surprised to find out?
A: My favorite state to visit in the U.S. is Wisconsin, and my favorite type of music is rap music.
Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be (and why)?
A: Teleportation — the amount of time saved in regards to traveling would be a huge help, and I could get so many things done rather than driving, flying, etc.
Q: What’s the last song you listened to?
A: “Big Poppa” by Notorious B.I.G.
Q: What’s one thing on your bucket list?
A: Traveling to Ireland and Scotland on a big golf trip.
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!