Community Maplewood South Orange

It’s Official — South Mountain Y Is Most Spirited Camp in NJ!

South Orange and Maplewood, great news — Your own local YMCA has the most spirited staff in New Jersey!

The staff at the South Mountain YMCA took home the honor on Sunday at the Day of the Camps annual staff training held at the Sawmill Branch of the Hamilton area YMCA .

“As you can tell, we are REALLY proud of the staff,” wrote South Mountain YMCA Executive Director James Goodger in an email. “Even more impressive because we had to pull the staff together from different camps that we offer!”

At Day of the Camps, YMCAs from all over New Jersey are invited to attend. At this year’s 13th annual event, there were 14 YMCAs present from the state. In the morning staff  chose from workshops and training sessions including a new hire training for everyone new to camp, plus leadership, supervision, activities, rainy day games, transition games, communication, working with kids and so on. At lunch time, staff participated in soccer, basketball and ultimate frisbee tournaments.

But the main event was the afternoon, where Ys competed against each other in “ridiculously wacky camp games” as they vied for the coveted Spirit Award. South Mountain came second last year to Montclair’s Camp at the Lake team, but this year was able to rise to the occasion and bring the trophy home, with Montclair finishing second.

“The day is an awesome way for staff to bond, get to know each other, work together, build teams, etc, learn more about the camping world, it gets them fired up to have maximum impact on kids this summer,” said Goodger. “The other great thing is that the South Mountain full-time staff team also contributed by sharing their expertise with others” by leading morning workshops.

To find out more about South Mountain YMCA’s many summer camp options, visit

Help fund the SOUTH MOUNTAIN YMCA 2017 Annual Support Campaign by visiting:


South Mountain YMCA summer camp staff claim the top prize at the 13th Annual Day of the Camps. SPIRIT CHAMPIONS!
Staff from our 18 different camps united as one and pulled off an an inspiring win. They definitely raised the B.A.R. Now they take what they learned and prepare to impact over hundreds of children and teens by creating an amazing sense of Belonging, coaching for new Achievements and developing meaningful Relationships.

South Mountain Y’s James Goodger at the Day of the Camps

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