Meet the Camp Director - Kyairra Hartsfield

Monday, May 21, 2018

We're excited to introduce our new Camp Director at Camp Knightdale Station: Kyairra Hartsfield. Kyairra can't wait for this summer to get started! We recently had an opportunity to catch up with Kyairra and ask her what makes her excited for Summer 2018. Let's get to know Kyairra!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Kyairra Hartsfield and I have worked at the YMCA for 10 years in Raleigh and Greensboro, NC. My passion for summer camp stems from the memories and friendships I have built over the years at the Y. I have seen the opportunities that the Y presents to impact children, families and the communities that we serve. The Y built the foundation for my career as a social worker and I am excited to give back!

why do you love working at camp?

I love working at Camp because we are one big family. Camp is like a big family reunion. It’s always good to see returning and new campers and counselors. I have worked at different YMCAs, but the one thing that I love about Camp Knightdale Station is the growth and flexibility of the program. This year, we will do more open programming, which will allow children to have more independence over their daily activity schedule and do more of what they love.  

what are some of your best camp memories?

My special camp memory would be Pie-a-Palooza. Every summer as leadership staff, we would go around and catch counselors off guard and pie them in the face. We would get campers' involvement to stage the pies, and even record video clips. At the end of the summer, parents and campers would come and watch the video clips. Getting pied was not my favorite part, but once I saw how much the campers loved it, it became my favorite memory and I looked forward to it every summer. I can even watch it online when I want to reminisce about the summer. 

what's your favorite camp tradition?

My favorite thing about summer camp is devotions. Devotions are a time to help build character. This is a time that campers can ask questions, build relationships, and learn. Counselors and campers can praise each other and empower others to try new things or learn from situations throughout the day. Campers can also give out beads and earn beads. I love talking to campers and telling them how many beads they have earned. What is so amazing to me is that they can tell me why they earned the beads on their necklaces even weeks after they earned them. Camp is a time to develop and devotions give that opportunity in a quiet setting.

what advice do you have for a first-time camp parent?

My advice to a first-time camp parent is to not worry too much. Most campers whose parents are worried about their camper adjusting to camp have an amazing time. With the counselors, buddy-system, and leadership at camp, they will be able to master camp in no time. Be prepared for the stories of all the exciting things they did at camp on the car ride home!