Director of Youth Development and Innovation
Hi, I’m Jessie Emmons. I was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. My career with the Y began when I 6 years old, as a second generation camper at YMCA Camp Eberhart in Three Rivers, MI. I was a true camp kid and spent every summer at camp. At 17, I joined the staff, spending six full summers at camp and three years working Outdoor Education. I transitioned to the South Bend branch after graduating college and began overseeing afterschool and day camp programming full-time. Within four years I was overseeing all Youth Development programs and had expanded our Day Camp program from one site to four.
My favorite parts about camp is that it is the one place in the world where I truly feel like I can be myself and that I am truly accepted. Camp is a place where being silly and loud is praised. Which is great, because loud and silly is basically my default mode. I am water person, so during the summer I live in my bathing suit. I am always available for a Taylor Swift dance party or sing-a-longs. I am a believer of magic, specifically Disney magic. I celebrate Taco Tuesday…three nights a week. I know far too much about “The Titanic” and I am much more of a Pheobe than a Rachel or a Monica. My favorite way to spend my time off is with my dog, Fitz. You can find us hiking, playing fetch, or napping.