A fourth-grade Riney­ville Elementary School student won a rare award at summer camp this year.

Savannah Gati, 9, received the Honor Camper award while at Camp Ernst, a YMCA camp in Burlington. Camp Ernst’s staff of more than 200 counselors nominated and voted on campers who they believe display YMCA’s core character values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility at the end of each week-long session.

Honor Campers are given tin cups with their names engraved on them. The award is only given to about 2 percent of all campers.

Savannah said she was proud of herself when she found out she won the award.

“It was unexpected,” she said.

Savannah said it took one of her counselors seven years to receive the award. She claimed the tin cup during her second year of camp.

Savannah also received a certificate. Notes from Savannah’s camp counselors were written on the certificate.

“You have been a guiding light in the cabin this week and I have never (met) anyone more deserving of this than you. Every challenge thrown at you you handled with grace and reason, and I am blown away by you,” one counselor wrote.

Savannah plans to return to the camp next summer and hopes to become a camp counselor when she is older.


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