Credit Union volunteers gathered at Victory Junction Camp on Sunday, June 24 to welcome the campers for the week. North and South Carolina Credit Unions are co-sponsoring this week of camp, which is focusing on heart, lung, and bleeding disorders. The camp theme for the week is America.
Nearly 20 credit union volunteers lined the road that leads from the front gate inside to the registration area. Families were greeted with streamer gateways, posters, and very enthusiastic greetings from those assembled. Some of the families came from as far away as Indiana and were very impressed to have such a cheerful welcoming to the Camp.
Stephanie Chism of American Partners FCU made the trip to Randleman with her daughter Madison to welcome the campers. Chism said she felt it was important for her daughter to be there. "I want to instill in her the selfless act of volunteering her time and expecting nothing in return, how your kindness and generosity can make a huge difference in the life of someone else, and lastly for her to see the smiles on the faces of the parents and children as they entered the camp," Chism said.
Chism said one mother from Maryland wept and expressed her gratitude for the volunteers showing up to welcome her son to Victory Junction. "That was worth every drop of sweat and bug bite we had that day. It was an amazing experience for me and I was proud to stand there representing credit unions."
John P. McGrail, President/CEO of the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation noted that credit unions in both Carolinas have been dedicated to the camp in a variety of ways from the very beginning. "The Credit Unions of North and South Carolina have invested more than three million dollars into Victory Junction Camp since our relationship began," McGrail said.
He added that the volunteer day was one of many ways in which credit union people had committed their time to the camp. "Some credit union people who have been to Victory Junction have ended up volunteering at the camp through the years. It really shows the impact this camp has on people."
"The camp has become a permanent part of our footprint here in the Carolinas and I wouldn't want it any other way," McGrail added. "It is a natural extension of who we are as community builders. I am proud to extend our commitment in 2012 and look forward to seeing what the next year brings."
The weekly sponsorship has been part of the credit union commitment in the years since Victory Junction Camp opened. "Almost all of the dollars for this year's co-sponsorship came from the eighth annual Carolinas Cup Golf Tournament, which is so well executed by the local CUNA Mutual Group staff," he added .
McGrail hopes to change things up next year since this is the third year of greeting campers on their Sunday afternoon arrival. Each week of Camp there is what is called the NasCarnival on Tuesday nights that include NASCAR pit crews engaging with the campers, hot air balloons, and a real chance to interact with the campers, expert staff, and exceptional volunteers that make each week happen.
McGrail said the Tuesday evening events would be a great chance for credit union volunteers to interact with campers beginning in 2013.. "I hope North and South Carolina Credit Unions will do all they can to support the ninth annual Carolinas Cup and to come and be a part of the Tuesday night festivities of the week we end up co-sponsoring."
Victory Junction Camp is always looking for volunteers to help assist with Camp not only during the summers but also during specialized family weekends as well. Details can be found at www.victoryjunction.org. If you're interested in fundraising for the Camp and would like any ideas contact McGrail at the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation at (704) 305-7587 or by email at email@example.com.