Every June I am reminded of all the fun things that were just right around the corner for me. This picture always takes me back to the possibilities the summer season brings: an opportunity to do all the things I loved most…which at that time was Dodger Baseball!
As a child, I looked forward to exciting summer baseball tournaments with my teammates, a week of summer camp, a drive in the family minivan to Laguna Beach, my sisters and I riding our bikes around the neighborhood until the streetlights came on. Lastly, if I was lucky, maybe a Dodger game or two with my Dad. I remember feeling like I was included, and I was loved. Now as a husband and a father of two kids, I think about the opportunities for our children to build memories of their own over the summer. Most importantly I want them to always feel included and know they are deeply loved.
Over my 25 years with the YMCA movement I have had the privilege to see firsthand the joy and wonderment that summertime brings for youth, teens, and families of all constitutions. I am also reminded of the purpose of this organization, which is to serve ALL and enrich the quality of their lives spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially. With our Mission Statement as our guide, we aspire daily to serve all through inclusive program design and delivery, making our buildings welcoming and accessible to all and letting everyone we encounter know they matter. This summer, and every day of the year, we strive to help build positive lifelong memories for all Y members, program participants, and volunteers by making people feel seen, validated, respected, and included.
So, whether it’s your favorite sporting event, a week of camp, a long car ride to the beach or just simply spending quality time with family and friends, the Y wishes you experience immeasurable amounts of joy, love, and inclusion in this season.
Onward and Upward!