About Brant United Way

YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford

All that kids can be.

Change starts in our community when people come together through Brant United Way to support programs and services that offer children in our community a better future. Together, we continue to help kids be all they can be.

YMCA day camp staff works very hard to give each camper the individualized attention they need to have a fun and successful day camp experience. Staff understand that while each child has special talents and interests, some children are harder to work with than others. Mackenzie was one such child. An angelic looking little girl, 6 years old with a cute missing front tooth she seemed like a perfect little camper ‐ until she was asked to change activities or stop talking or save her snack for break time or do anything that wasn't her idea.

At those times Mackenzie became angry and defiant. As a result, she had to be separated from the other campers for one‐on‐one time with an available staff member who helped her with behaviour improvement plans, talked about way of dealing with anger and how to express herself in safe and effective ways.

During one of these times, Mackenzie showed her true creative colours. During an arts and craft activity Mackenzie designed a necklace using colored beads with the other campers. After arts and crafts time, Mackenzie created a magical fairy tale story with all of the leftover beads. With beads spread out on a picnic table, Mackenzie proceeded to tell a day camp staff about her creative fairy tale. The staff member was stunned and impressed and made sure that Mackenzie knew it. It was a small moment during the course of the summer, but staff and campers found a new path for Mackenzie and continued to direct her into positive learning experiences using her newfound talent.

While not perfect, her behavour improved and she was able to stay in camp, make a few friends and spend more time with her group – sometimes entertaining them with her stories... *Name changed to protect privacy.

Brant United Way is proud to have made a difference Mackenzie's life. We continue to invest in people throughout our community to strengthen their individual capacity and that of Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations of the Grand River.

Change starts here.
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