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YMCA camp director receives 30 Under 30 award

Greater Somerset County YMCA staff member Taylor Rehe is a recipient of the 30 Under 30 award for the 2021 year of service.

Rehe is the camp director of Camp Timber at Bridgewater YMCA, a branch of Greater Somerset County YMCA.

The award is given by YMCA of the USA’s Emerging Leaders Resource Network to Y staff members under age 30 who have the potential to lead Y associations in the future, according to information provided by the Greater Somerset Y.

Additionally, these award winners are young leaders who have accomplished specific achievements at the YMCA or within their local communities. They have a strong record of innovation in their fields, outstanding performance in their YMCAs, and a clear track record of meaningful community involvement, especially in the areas of diversity and inclusion and global initiatives that align with the YMCA values of community strengthening and being for all, according to the statement.

Rehe is featured in the YMCA of the USA’s official announcement video and was nominated by Eddie Norgard, who received the honor in 2020 when he was director of Membership and Programs at Somerville YMCA, another branch of Greater Somerset County YMCA, according to the statement. Today, Norgard is associate director of Bridgewater YMCA and Somerville YMCA.

“Taylor is the epitome of a young, passionate leader and takes every opportunity to transform the lives of others. As a changemaker with a passion for youth development, Taylor continues to strengthen community through innovative camp programming that keeps ‘being a kid’ at the core of it all. We’re incredibly proud of Taylor for her accomplishments and recognition on the national stage,” Norgard said in the statement.

Rehe was one of 121 nominations in 2021, and one of 30 selected across the country as an emerging leader. Her selection marks the second emerging leader to be recognized for the distinction from Greater Somerset County YMCA in two years, according to the statement.

 

Rehe started working at the Y in January 2018 as a Membership Services representative and Manager on Duty.

In summer 2019, she was chosen as a substitute camp counselor at Somerville YMCA, and stepped into the role of Bridgewater camp director in 2020. She has helped support the YMCA in several departments, including Wellness, School Age Child Care, Camp, Aquatics, and Membership in her four-year tenure at the Y, according to the statement.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have young leadership at the Y like Taylor. She motivates her colleagues and the members she helps through her commitment to the Y’s mission. She’s a bright light, the kind of person people follow and whose lives are improved in the process. Through Taylor’s leadership and community outreach, her 2021 summer camp program achieved over 150% of enrollment over 2019 numbers despite 2021 being an extremely challenging recovery year in our state. She’s one of the reasons we are still thriving and why children continue to call the Y their happy place. It’s fitting that we celebrate her during Women’s History Month – Taylor’s indelible contributions to Greater Somerset County YMCA will inspire a generation of young people behind her to greatness,” David M. Carcieri, president and CEO of Greater Somerset County YMCA, said in the statement.

Rehe was instrumental in the launch of the Y’s Smallest Winner Challenge, a 12-week small group training program designed to provide participants with lifestyle-changing tools including daily nutrition and exercise routines.

In addition, she has achieved multiple certifications while at the YMCA, including National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Personal Training Certification with a Special Populations Endorsement, American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification, YMCA Youth Swim Lessons (YSL) Swim Instruction, and Livestrong at the YMCA Instructor Certification.

In the absence of an Aquatics director, Rehe revitalized the group and private swim lesson programs helping to train, coach and develop a team of instructors who teach over 200 students each session. Through her leadership, over 80% of her campers became proficient swimmers by the end of the 10-week camp season in 2021, according to the statement.

Camp Timber was one of two summer camps operating within the immediate service area in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rehe’s leadership allowed the operations to continue despite challenges associated with the pandemic and ever-changing guidelines. Under her operations, the camp had zero transmissions or positive cases of COVID-19, according to the statement.

She is dedicated to International Camp Kindness Day, and as such organized her campers’ participation in a camp service project to create meal bags for the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP), according to the statement.

“I am absolutely humbled and honored to have received this award, and I feel very fortunate to be able to give back to our youth in so many different ways through summer camp. I firmly believe in the power of our youth and the importance of youth development, and I am flattered to be recognized for my work. I am so appreciative of the Y for the opportunity to give back in so many different capacities, and I look forward to continuing to grow both as an individual and as a leader at the Y, especially working with the youth programs – I really enjoy helping kids and teens realize their own potential,” the 27-year-old Branchburg resident said in the statement.

For more information about the Y, visit gscymca.org.

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