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More than two hundred campers, at the Princeton Family YMCA’s Discovery Camp and M.V.P. Sports Camp, joined together during the final weeks of camp for this summer, for the presentation of the seventh annual YMCA Alexander K. Buck Leadership Award.  Those selected to receive the surprise honor were Margaret Schrayer of Princeton, NJ and Justin Wisniewski of Lawrenceville, NJ.

Annually the award is presented to two YMCA camp counselors — one young man and one young woman — who best exemplify and reflect the leadership qualities, character and passions of the late Alexander “Whip” K. Buck, a longtime Princeton resident and former trustee and supporter of the YMCA, and the YMCA mission.

The qualities and characteristics include demonstrating the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility; showing humility and kindness to others; serving as a good citizen; possessing an infectious spirit of fun and adventure; valuing the natural environment and encouraging others to do the same; demonstrating a balance of spirit, mind and body as a well-rounded individual; learning from his or her mistakes; and putting others first.; and, finally, being “a good friend to all.”

Margaret Schrayer, age 18, daughter of Carol Tate and David Schrayer of Princeton, joined the Princeton Family YMCA’s summer camp this year, although she has worked as a swim instructor, life guard, and coach prior to becoming a counselor.  This summer, she contributed her talents in a variety of ways, working with children of all ages and abilities. Her dedication to working with children, and her friendliness, positive attitude, and creativity embodies the true meaning of a camp counselor.  Margaret is a graduate of Princeton High School and, this fall, will attend the University of Georgia, where she plans to study statistics and computer science (a self-proclaimed mathlete!)

Justin Wisniewski, of Lawrenceville, age 25, graduated from Lawrence High School and completed his B.A. in Psychology at Messiah College. Since graduating, he has worked in education, currently with the East Windsor School District as an education assistant and serves as a site director for the Princeton Family YMCA at the Orchard Hill Elementary School in Montgomery. Justin is devoted to working with children and enjoys camp as a tool to teach teamwork and values to children.

Both Margaret and Justin are truly “friends to all” and served as exemplary role models to their peers and to the campers. Each received a plaque and certificate in recognition of their achievement.

For many young people, the YMCA often serves as a first introduction to working life.  Nationwide, the Y provides millions of young adults with their first paid employment experiences, helping chart their course to a successful future through positive skill building and training.

About the Y: The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.princetonymca.org

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