Alumni Spotlight: Hanny!

Hello everybody! My name is Meghan “Hanny” Hannigan and I had the opportunity of enjoying YMCA Camp Benson for nine wonderful summers. I started coming as a camper when I was in middle school, and by the time I was 17 I was devoting entire summers to being on staff. I started off working in the kitchen, had a summer as a counselor, and then two summers as the high ropes director. Over my nine years I met people that I still consider my best friends today, and earned an eternal outdoor getaway that I still make time to go visit every couple of months.

The experiences and lessons that I gained as a camper, SDP, and staff member have shaped my life in more ways that I can count. The most critical lesson that our campers learn is how to be independent and make their own decisions at an age much younger than they would be given the opportunity to in an environment that is as structured as the outside world. My intrigue for children, recreation, and the outdoors led me to pursue a degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism with a minor and business at the University of Illinois and go on to expand my camping knowledge by going to work at YMCA Camp Greenville this past summer as a Division Leader.

Moving forward, I plan to pursue a Masters degree in Human Resources and return to YMCA Camp Greenville for one dose of summer camp magic in Summer 2018. YMCA Camp Benson gave me the opportunity to better myself personally, professionally, to become more independent, to meet people who are still my best friends today, and to feel confident in myself as an individual. I am jealous of every young camper who still has an entire YCB life ahead of them, and encourage all of you to stay full involved through the SDP Program and apply for staff one day to get the most out of such a life changing experience.


YMCA Camp Benson

16355 Scenic Palisades Rd.

Mount Carroll, Illinois

Have Questions?

Please contact Gwyn “Mama G” Bemis”

Camp Director


Madison “Pawz” Vandersee

Assistant Camp Director


YMCA Camp Benson