Nurturing Community: Savanah and Sydnee’s Story

By: Hannah Jackson

Posted: 3.15.19

Ever since they met for the first time in second grade, Savanah Steffey and Sydnee Smith have been best friends. Growing up in the tight knit community of Livingston, they were able to experience the impact of Cho-Yeh on the community. When it came time for college they chose separate schools which was the first time they experienced distance in their friendship. 

Sydnee grew up coming to Cho-Yeh as a camper and has now spent seven summers here. Three years ago, Sydnee invited Savanah to come work here, and they both have been coming back to work each summer.

“Knowing Sydnee saw something in me was so encouraging” Savanah said. “She gave me confidence in my ability to be a good counselor. Plus, Sydnee introduced me to a whole new world of friendships that continue to last past camp. That is very special.”

The distance between them during the school months makes the time they spend together at Cho-Yeh even sweeter.

For a weekend retreat, called Campy Christmas, they had the opportunity to be co-counselors together. They learned how to work well together in a cabin environment. Through this experience, each of their different strengths were highlighted as they realized how differently they approached being a counselor. Despite sharing similar personalities, Savanah was naturally drawn to the reserved campers and was able to help bring them out of their shells. While, Sydnee could then help those same campers transition into being bold and to share in deeper conversations.

“Together, we made a great team, that was such an impactful weekend,” Sydnee said. “I’m really grateful for camp. It brings a lot of growth in my life and pushes me outside my comfort zone. Working at Camp is the best decision I ever made.”