Fairview Lake YMCA Camps’ interim summer camp director is camper to the core. “I love teaching kids skills, and connecting them to the outdoors,” Emily Galbraith said.
Galbraith will oversee the 1,000 children ages 6 to 17 who will enjoy hiking, sailing, swimming, archery, sports, campfires, cabin-living and the camaraderie that comes from spending one or many weeks away from home. “I love the community summer camp builds,” she said.
“Emily’s love for the outdoors, her work with children and teens, and her experience with Fairview Lake make her a perfect fit for the camp director job,” Fairview Lake YMCA Executive Director Bob Kahle said. She has an extensive background in summer camp, “but it is her passion for excellence and service that prepares her for the opportunities this summer will provide,” Kahle said.
As Fairview Lake YMCA’s marketing director since 2015, “Emily has kept her finger on the pulse of the program and is very familiar with the campers and staff,” he noted.
Galbraith spent her childhood attending a Girl Scout sleepaway camp. Seven years as a camper led to another seven as a counselor first, then waterfront director and sailing instructor, and finally as assistant camp director.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in English, Galbraith trained as an EMT and planned to become a nurse. She discovered nursing school wasn’t for her, and instead earned a second degree in Fine Arts.
The Madison Area YMCA hired the Chatham Township native as a camp counselor in 2010 and promoted her to director of youth and teen programs a year later. In that position, Galbraith created the summer camp for children in grades 3-5 with a strong emphasis on outdoor activities. The Y also made her its marketing designer.
For eight summers, Galbraith has volunteered with the regional YMCA Teen Leadership Training School serving New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington D.C. For a week each summer, the program teaches teenagers about leadership, volunteerism, community service and character development. Many of participants go on to pursue careers with the YMCA, she noted.
If Galbraith’s summer camp connections weren’t already deep, she also is engaged to the YMCA’s Environmental Trips for Challenge director, Brendan Rearer. Galbraith lives on the 660-acre property with her 4-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, Captain.
Running a sleepaway camp has been a career goal for Galbraith, and she is thrilled to get to do it at Fairview Lake YMCA. “I’m really excited for this summer!” she said.
ABOUT THE Y
Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.