Backyard Sports At Brant Lake Camp

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by Scott Galst, former BYSC Volunteer and BLC Alumni

I attended Brant Lake Camp as a child and worked as a counselor when I was a teenager. It was a special place where many of my greatest childhood memories were created. I’d like to think I knew at the time how lucky I was to be there every summer, but like most kids, I was too caught up in the fun I was having, and just too young and immature, to fully understand. I loved it, but did not fully appreciate how fortunate I was. I do now!

I’ve volunteered for BYSC in the past and have always enjoyed working and mentoring kids, but despite that and the many summers of my youth spent at Brant Lake, I was still surprised and delighted by my recent experience. I gained a whole new perspective when I joined Backyard Sports there this past August with kids from NewFlex Youth Programs and the Youth Shelter of Westchester in Mount Vernon. It had an impact that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Seeing the joy of young men who got to use facilities or experience something they normally would not have access to, sharpened my appreciation beyond what I was capable of as a camper. But my biggest takeaway was the power of community. While the activities were largely centered around sports, it was the opportunity to get to know each of the kids beyond the court and athletic fields – and watching them get to know each other – that I enjoyed most.

I have no doubt that through this experience I learned more than the kids could possibly have learned from me: primarily about the power of opportunity and that all kids should have the chance to express and enjoy themselves freely. Brant Lake Camp is a place to do that, and to create lasting memories. I feel every boy went home with memories from camp they will not soon forget. I know I did.

Volunteer BUZZ: Ryan Pohly

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Categories Vol. 12 Winter 2019Tags , , ,

“With the support of a larger organization, my help can change a person’s life.” A high school senior who’s been with BYSC since seventh grade, Ryan Pohly is one of our most dedicated and experienced volunteers. He’s with us at Purchase College every Sunday, helping special needs athletes safely enjoy team sports. And, as a … Continue reading “Volunteer BUZZ: Ryan Pohly”

BYSC Alum Spotlight: Andrew Goldberg tells how volunteering with under-served kids impacted his life

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Categories volunteer teen mentors, afterschool programs, At risk youth, under-served communitiesTags , ,

Inspiring stories of growth, compassion, and success from Backyard Sports Cares volunteer alumni “It was a very fulfilling and interesting experience. When I look back on it, I wish I could relive some of it.” In this second installment of our series on BYSC former volunteers, we connected with Andrew Goldberg, a graduate of the … Continue reading “BYSC Alum Spotlight: Andrew Goldberg tells how volunteering with under-served kids impacted his life”

Special needs peer mentor shares why he’s been a BYSC teen volunteer for 3 years

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It’s funny how the universe — and moms — seem to surface just what we need before we know we need it. Backyard Sports Cares volunteer peer mentor, Alec Greenwald, talks to us about his surprising experience working with special needs children and teens participating in BYSC Plus Program. WATCH our interview with BYSC teen … Continue reading “Special needs peer mentor shares why he’s been a BYSC teen volunteer for 3 years”