YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Students from East High School in Youngstown were able to gain a new experience this week on a trip to Camp Fitch YMCA.
Guy Burney with C.I.R.V. Youngstown took around 15 students who have been struggling with behavioral issues. His goal was to show them they have the potential to be better than their circumstances.
“They have to, you know, pay the discipline, but we have to do more. We have to begin to teach different resolution skills so that they can make different decisions and won’t get in those types of altercations,” Burney said.
Burney said many times, students with behavioral issues are simply punished or placed into a category of being a “bad kid.” However, he said these kids just need some time and attention.
“A lot of times, when young people, you know, have certain behaviors or they get in trouble, they don’t have the opportunity to be exposed to different things because of the behaviors. So, I think it’s important to intentionally give opportunities to young people because their future does not have to be dictated by their past,” Burney said.
Camp Fitch YMCA Executive Director Tom Parker said this is a great way for the kids to see and do things they may have never done before.
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for them to expand their horizon and sort of connect with nature. I think that’s so important,” Parker said.
During one of the exercises, the students got to express how the things they learned while at the camp have impacted them.
“I learned that it’s never too late and it’s never enough. So even if you’re at your worst, it’s never too late to change and even if you’re at your peak, it’s never enough. Like, you can always surpass that and keep going,” one student said.
“We gotta understand when there’s things that are holding us back we need to understand that it’s time to let go, that we need to move on forward, that we need to look ahead of ourselves and be successful for our lives and what’s going on for our future,” another student said.
The students arrived at the camp Wednesday morning and stayed until Thursday afternoon. They participated in different team-building activities, conversations on how to overcome obstacles and self-reflection activities.
Below, you can hear students reflect on what they learned, lessons they will take back with them and how this experience has impacted them.