Unplugged and United: Our Family's Memorable Weekend at Camp Silver Beach

21 September 2023
Collage of family camp images

Camp Silver Beach, nestled in the heart of nature on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, recently played host to Teresa Escalante, Vice President of People and Culture from the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, and her family, including her husband, 13-year-old son, and 10-year-old godson. They were one of the 41 families that participated in the Labor Day Weekend Family Camp.


By Teresa Escalante - Vice President of People and Culture

I have had the privilege of experiencing Camp Silver Beach through Y Staff functions but have never gotten to experience it as a camper, until now! This past Labor Day weekend, our family attended Family Camp at Camp Silver Beach to get away together, but the main goal was for the kids, ages 13 and 10, to have some fun. I wanted my family to experience camp and enjoy it as much as I knew they would. I was so excited to see the staff I’ve had a hand in hiring over the last five years in action, but even I was surprised! From the moment we arrived for check-in, we felt welcomed. It was the little touches like the wonderful greetings and smiles, our cabin welcome sign and snack bag for the family.

Saturday was filled with an array of activities that left us with unforgettable memories. We dabbled in arts and crafts, tried our hand at archery and riflery, shot some hoops on the basketball court, zoomed down the big pool slide, and enjoyed the evening talent show. What made the day truly remarkable was the genuine warmth and inclusivity displayed by every camp staff member we encountered. They not only ensured everyone felt included in the activities but also took a genuine interest in our experiences and plans for the day. Their dedication and enthusiasm made the day truly special.

On Sunday, we took to the Chesapeake Bay for a day of aquatic adventures. We sailed, swam, paddle boarded, banana boated, and even made a valiant attempt at kayaking, albeit with minimal success. The unwavering support and laughter shared with the staff made this experience so fantastic. They helped us navigate every activity and turned even our kayaking mishaps into moments of fun and hilarity.

While sailing, one of the camp team members asked our 13-year-old a thought-provoking question, "What has been the most surprising thing about camp?" You never know what you’ll get when you ask a 13-year-old for an honest answer, so I braced for the response, "I thought I wasn't going to like it because I didn't want to go. It didn't seem appealing to me. In the end, I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't get notifications on my phone constantly, but I didn't miss it because I was enjoying all of the activities." As parents, this feedback was incredibly rewarding and reaffirmed the value of unplugging and immersing ourselves in the present moment.

Beyond the organized activities, we enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other families and savor downtime together. We had the silliest conversations, played board games, and even discussed plans for our return and who we could invite along next time. Our Family Camp experience was a truly memorable weekend, and I wholeheartedly encourage other families to experience it at least once. It's a time to disconnect from the digital world, connect with loved ones, and create memories that will last a lifetime.