SOUTHINGTON – The Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA has announced the 2021 inductees into the Sloper Hall of Fame.
The inductees, which include Sue and Keith Larson, Jill McAloon and Mike Tedesco, will be honored May 19 at an outdoor ceremony at Smokin with Chris at 59 West Center St.
“All four of the 2021 recipients have made a huge impact on camp and we are excited to honor them as part of the Sloper Hall of Fame,” Outdoor Center Director at YMCA Camp Sloper Justin Hubeny.
Mark Pooler, CEO of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA who also served as camp director from 1996 to 2015, said that the Sloper Hall of Fame was created in 2005 as a way to "recognize and reward some of the past camp staff and volunteers who have helped to make YMCA Camp Sloper the great facility it is today."
Keith Larson, Pooler said, was "one of our most dedicated volunteers" from 2008 to 2015. He served on the Outdoor Center Committee, Building and Property Sub-committee and Saturday Morning Workday group.
"He spent countless hours repairing, renovating, rebuilding and constructing many of the cabins, pavilions and other camp facilities for many years," said Pooler. "Keith is an immensely talented carpenter and shared his time and talents with us for many years."
Some of the projects Keith Larson helped with were the full renovations of the McLeod Family Pavilion, the Arts and Crafts Cabin, the East Coast Cabin and the Nature Center.
Sue Larson, Pooler said, has served as a "valued member' of the Outdoor Center Committee as well as a volunteer, donor and supporter, for "several years."
"Sue has been designing our Day Camp Brochure since 1996 and continues to do that for us today,” said Pooler.
Pooler said Sue Larson has designed many other print and graphic elements for YMCA Camp Sloper, often at a heavy discount or as a donation.
McAloon, another inductee, started at YMCA Camp Sloper as a counselor in 1999. He said that she led the camp's Extended Care Camp program for several years and went on to become the tower/high ropes director in 2001. After a brief departure, she returned to work at the camp in 2008 as Special Needs Coordinator.
"This is where Jill’s impact at YMCA Camp Sloper really grew as she shared with us her expertise, experience and overall strengths in working with kids with special needs," said Pooler.
Last but not least, Tedesco began his work at YMCA Camp Sloper in 2000 as a camp counselor. He continued for many years, working at the camp's high ropes course, before ending his time at the camp as the Trailblazer Director in 2005.
“Mike’s fun-loving attitude and connection to our older campers made him a popular camp staff member," said Pooler.
According to Pooler, after Tedesco’s departure from YMCA Camp Sloper, he went on to lead YMCA Camp Quinnipiac for several years before moving to the Waterbury YMCA where he currently holds the Operation Director position.
Tickets to the Camp Sloper Hall of Fame induction ceremony are $25 and include a meal. All funds collected will support the YMCA's camp scholarship fund. To purchase tickets, visit ymcacampsloper.org.
For more information, call Justin Hubeny at 860-621-8194 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.