I’ve spent the summer interning at Silver Bay, a YMCA-affiliated conference center on Lake George in upstate New York (Think Dirty Dancing but in the Adirondacks instead of the Catskills…and maybe a little less dancing!). It’s been an amazing time both in terms of work and play—I’m learning a ton, and at the end of the day I get to jump in the lake and relax! Pretty hard to beat.
My internship is in the development department of Silver Bay. I work with the annual fund director to plan large-scale fundraisers and focus on both internal and external community building and outreach. Internally, I have been focusing on two main projects: The first, #FriendsofSB, is a Humans of New York-esque photo project that involves my walking around campus and doing quick interviews with guests and employees here. These interviews are posted around campus and on Silver Bay’s Facebook page regularly. The second is a project called My Silver Bay Story, where people in the Silver Bay community have the opportunity to tell others about their experiences here via cards we’ve posted around campus and express why this place is so special to them. Many people have family connections here going back generations, so it’s definitely a place people feel devoted to. It’s rewarding seeing the pure love they have for Silver Bay!
More focused around the external community, I’m helping plan two huge fundraisers coming up: Silver Bay’s spy-themed Next Generation party, a $25,000-goal fundraiser to support our Vacations Made Possible program, providing vacations here for families in need, and our 16th annual golf tournament to support youth programming at Silver Bay. Planning for these events has involved everything from calling local businesses and asking for auction item donations (a great learning experience—I’ve learned to roll with the punches and give a good pitch to explain why people should donate!) to perusing Amazon for the perfect spy gear for Next Gen.
Every day at this job is different, but the people have been consistent and definitely my favorite part of working here. It’s amazing realizing that our team is helping make a difference at Silver Bay and in the local community here. I have learned to be a better communicator both within the confines of campus and outside in neighboring cities. I can’t believe the summer is already almost over!
Here’s some old-fashioned PR from my office—posters to advertise our upcoming events. We dressed as spies and carried them around during Silver Bay’s 4th of July parade.
Once my 9-5 hours are done for the day, this is my regular view!
Allie Hitchcock is a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in journalism with a specialization in PR and a second concentration in French. She is in her first year on the PRSSA executive board as Co-Director of Programming & Professional Development after having served as a general member last year.