YMCA Camp Ernst Executive Director Elizabeth (“Eli”) Cochran attended a St. Louis School all-school morning assembly to recognize Luke Baker, eighth grade student at St. Louis School, Owensville.
A tradition since 1928, Honor Camper was created by Willard L. Wade (Camp Ernst’s founder) to recognize campers with outstanding character and leadership. Camp Ernst’s staff of more than 100 nominate and vote on campers who they believe display the YMCA core character values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility at the end of each camping session.
During the summer, he received an engraved tin cup among his fellow campers.
“Luke is a very influential camper who has impacted his peers through integrity and compassion in real, every day terms,” Camp Director Eli Cochran said. “We’re very proud of him.”
At the assembly, she also mentioned that he has “actually grown up with the camp, attending for nearly eight years.”
When addressing the students, Principal Peg Hunsberger summarized, “Though Luke was in a camp setting, not part of St. Louis School, he showed these wonderful qualities…They say character is what yu do when no one is looking. Luke really showed that. He didn’t do it for credit or to try to be honored. He just did it because that is just who he is, as a person. [It is] something for all of us to strive for.” She explained the importance of character development and responsible leadership as this award echoes core values that the school embraces, such as servitude and community involvement.