First day butterflies

It’s crazy how fast May Camp flew by. Camp Fire Friday was an amazing end to a brilliant week filled with smiles, laughs and fun throughout. It sets the scene so well for the Summer, which we’re all really looking forward to here at HQ. But, for those of you who aren’t sure what to look forward to, let me take you back to the first morning of May camp 2016 at Camp Williams…

Steffen Benbow, Camps and Adventure Services Manager


The butterflies build in my stomach; a mixture of excitement and nervousness. It’s the first day of May Camp and all of the children have arrived at Camp Williams expecting the best day ever. We know it’s going to be; that’s not what the nerves are for. It’s because I know how scary a first day can be and I’m determined to make it a great start for each and every camper; whether it’s their first, third or fiftieth time at one of our camps.


The front gate is closed. Morning sign-in is over so all of our camp leaders can begin rounding up their campers (from catching up with their friends and playing games in the base rooms) for our first morning rally in the auditorium. Rally is the best introduction to camp. It’s also a time when our groups compete to see who has the loudest chant, a time where we all sing songs, perform funny skits and have a boat load of fun! Every group – Adventure, Explorer, Discovery, Kids Zone and soon Pioneers too – along with their leaders, are chanting and cheering at the top of their voices. I can see some faces going bright red in their efforts to be the loudest. LET’S GO DISCO, and WHATTEAM – A.D.V.E.N.T.U.R.E are legendary chants at Camp Williams. Our campers love making the walls vibrate with their noise levels – like Old Trafford – and the leaders love it!


We introduce the camp leaders and go through our four core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. This is so that all campers and safe and know how to look out for each other. Then we go into our first rally song of the day which our camp leader Nico takes us through … his favourite is called ‘Juicy Orange’ which always makes us cry with laughter.


We finish off rally with a whole camp game to get active before moving into our first skill clinic or activity of the day. The first rally of the week was awesome!


So, we’re off the to the races and it’s going to be non-stop fun for the next four days. Honestly, I can’t wait. I wonder which team’s going to win the spirit stick?

Find out more about what to expect this Summer holidays with YMCA Camp Williams, day camps and childcare at