Archive for June, 2012

Summer Fun!

Michelle Fontebasso

Hi everybody! I would like to introduce myself as the 2012-2013 Trainee/Intern! My name is Michelle Fontebasso. I am 24 years old, from São Paulo, Brazil.  I worked at the YMCA São Paulo for 7 years as a Journalist and recently I decided to explore a new YMCA.

My first contact here was last summer, when I spent 2 months as a volunteer. At that time I realized 2 months was not enough to discover and learn everything that this place and people could offer me and wanted to return.  I arrived again in this wonderful place in March, and for almost 3 months so far I am living my dream.

YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly will be my home for 18 months. Here I can have a lot of new experiences because I have the opportunity to work in different departments, such as Guest Service, Conference Service, Housekeeping and Programs. I am learning new skills every day, as well as improving my English. Everybody here is so hospitable and kind. I have made many good  friends that always take care of me.

I am from a big city- totally different from here.  There are so many buildings, intense traffic and a lot of people. So here in Black Mountain I can live a new life and enjoy the beautiful mountains with much peace and quiet.

I want to contribute to Blue Ridge by helping others understand my culture, and bringing my past experience as a journalist. This summer I have been given the opportunity to write the Ridgerunner Newsletter, a publication that goes out to Blue Ridge staff each week. You can read the issues on our website here!

I am so excited to see what this summer and the rest of the year brings. Here are some photos from our staff Orientation earlier this month:

Staff team-building in Lee Hall lobby

New friends!

Emergency procedures review in Heaton Hall

Staff climb on the Odyssey


Fun times on the Odyssey



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Calling all Blue Ridge Staff Alumni! It’s that time again….Time for walking in the cool streams, hiking to High Windy, making heritage crafts, rocking on Lee Hall porch…whatever it is that you love about Blue Ridge, we invite you to return home to the mountain.

On July 6-8, we will welcome staff alumni and their families to the mountain to reminisce and reconnect. The schedule includes a “Christmas in July” celebration, an exciting and educational Naturalist Program, a picnic by the lake, and more.  There will be plenty of planned activities with the group, but also lots of free time to explore free time on own or with your loved ones.  It is a wonderful opportunity for old staff to mingle with new staff, to share fond memories of your Blue Ridge summer, and to enjoy a relaxing weekend in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Register today!


2011 Staff Alumni Reunion

Can’t join us this summer? Here are some other ways to be involved:

Stay connected with your fellow staffers on Facebook by joining our Group page, or by “Liking” YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly. You can also subscribe to the “Eureka! Blog” to stay up to date about the latest happenings on the mountain, news from current staff, or to read inspirational stories about the impact that Blue Ridge has.

Volunteer Your Time: Contact volunteer@ymcabra.org for information on the exciting year-round service opportunities around the mountain.

Recruit Summer Staff:  Through friends, family, internships, and other opportunities, we each found our way to Blue Ridge on different paths.  Today, you  can guide youth to the mountain by reaching out to those in your own lives that you know would benefit from the Blue Ridge summer experience.  Internships in Food Service, Event Planning, Hotel/Hospitality Management, Art Education, or Outdoor Education are just a few worth exploring as possibilities for great real-world experience and school credit.  If you know anyone that you feel would be a good fit, send them our way! For more information, visit the Blue Ridge Assembly website.

Bring a Group: Where do you belong in your community? Contact Blue Ridge today about bringing a group for a conference retreat, weekend getaway, or family reunion. We have a variety of accommodations including  hotel-style rooms, cabins and cottages, and new lodges to fit your groups needs.  There are also many recreational opportunities available through our Program Department.  Contact Danielle Tocaben at (828) 210-8457 or dtocaben@ymcabra.org for more information.

Donate! Alumni donations help in many ways. They help current summer staff by providing them with programming opportunities, a collegiate summer course, and a special gift each summer. In previous years the Alumni Group has presented ping pong tables, staff photo CDs, televisions, grills, rocking chairs and this year…a computer! Your contributions are going towards a bigger goal: creating memories, changing lives, and making Blue Ridge a  better place for those staff who return year after year. Donations can be mailed to: Blue Ridge Assembly Staff Alumni Association, 84 Blue Ridge Circle, Black Mountain, NC 28711

Thanks for to all those who have served in the past as alumni officers- helping to plan reunions, lead programs, create newsletters, and assisted with the Alumni Association in any other capacity. If you have any questions regarding registration, volunteering, or making a donation, please contact Alumni Association President, Juli Gerken (1995 Summer Staff) at juligerken@charter.net or Blue Ridge’s Staff Alumni at alumni@ymcabra.org

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