More than 140 campers returned from a week-long paradise at Anaheim Family YMCA’s Camp Fox on Catalina Island. Rated one of the best camps in the U.S., YMCA Camp Fox is the destination for teenagers ages 13-18 to learn important values and develop characteristics that are inspiring and life changing.

Campers experienced an array of activities, from music to arts and crafts, to cabin talks and camp fires, to outdoor activities which included snorkeling, kayaking, tubing, hiking, rope courses and archery. “Camp Fox uses these fun activities to help teens connect with themselves and others,” said Camp Fox Director Javier Gonzalez. “The best part of this journey is seeing our kids grow and leave with a more positive outlook on life and a driven passion to do what is best.”

First-time camper, 17-year-old Maira Puentes, wanted to thank Camp Fox and her new best friends for helping her overcome her fear of the water. “Everyone kept trying to convince me how much fun snorkeling was going to be. It wasn’t until my leader held my hand and my friends stood by me every single step that gave me the confidence to do it and I enjoyed snorkeling! I did it. I will never forget that moment at Camp Fox. It meant the world to me.”

“Camp Fox is my new home,” said Paola Hernandez, another first-time 17-year-old camper. “I struggle a lot back at home and this was my chance to put the world out there on pause and focus on myself. The Rag talks with my leader gave me a new understanding of life and it helped me realize what my goals are. I want to better myself for my family, my friends and my school. Every time I look at my Rag, I will remember how Camp Fox inspired me to become a better person.”

The Rag program, used in YMCA Camps since 1914, is a favorite among teens to reinforce positive values. They develop personal goals for growth, and are given a specific colored rag for each stage of advancement. Paola Hernandez was adorned with a blue-colored rag which signifies loyalty. She continues to add that loyalty will help her inspire others to be the best person they can be because that is what her fellow campers did for her.

The Anaheim Family YMCA is currently gearing up for Camp Miehana for kids ages 7-12, to be held July 28 – August 4, in the San Bernardino Mountains. Openings are still available.

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