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Vicksburg YMCA celebrates their seventh year of attending the Christian Values Conference



Teenagers at the CVC: Photo submitted

The Vicksburg YMCA recently wrapped up their seventh year attending the Christian Values Conference in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

The YMCA hired Executive Director Phillip Doiron in 2015, and that is what brought kids in the Vicksburg community to attend CVC, which allows teenagers a chance to experience Christian values.


YMCA Executive Director Phillips Doiron

Doiron first learned about CVC when he worked for the YMCA in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

“This guy showed up at my door one day, and he wanted to tell me about this conference, and he described it as a place where nobody cared about what your background is, and it’s a place where everyone is welcomed,” Doiron said.


CVC: Photo submitted

Two years later, Doiron carried four people to CVC, including his oldest daughter, Anna Kate.

“For 24 hours we thought it was the worst thing,” Doiron said jokingly. “36 hours later we realized it was the best thing, and the impact I see kids have there, it doesn’t happen anywhere else, and this is our seventh year now.”


CVC: Photo submitted

Doiron explained the true ins and outs of CVC, where they break up everyone into 15 groups of families. Groups of kids from everywhere get together and enjoy activities where they start off as strangers and leave as families.

“It’s all beautiful, and they compete against each other, but it’s very different because we’re up in the mountains, and it’s beautiful and cool, and it’s just a different place,” Doiron said.


CVC: Photo submitted

Doiron also testified that one of the most memorable things witnessed at CVC was when he, his wife, and daughter were not enjoying themselves when they first arrived at CVC the first year, but they agreed to stay. Twelve hours later they said that they didn’t want to leave because of how things just turned around and clicked.

Since that year, Doiron made it a mission to always give kids the opportunity to experience the great joy he and his family did when they first traveled to the mountains.

The YMCA had to suffer two years without CVC due to COVID-19, but they are now back in full effect, where over 40 teenagers embarked last week for the journey. They had over 80 kids signed up in 2020 before everything shut down.

The Y makes it their mission to make sure every teenager who cares to attend CVC gets the fair opportunity. The organization gives the teenagers a chance to pay half of the money for the trip while earning the other half by volunteering at the Y, but they will never turn a kid down for inability to pay.


CVC: Photo submitted

Doiron introduced CVC to the YMCA Board of Directors during his 2015 interview before being hired, and they were sold on the idea from the start.

As Doiron explained, CVC gives kids a chance to interact with different people than what they are used to, whether they are black, white, or any race or any financial background.

Doiron and his crew made it back to Vicksburg just shortly before 11 a.m. on Friday after an 11-hour drive on a bus.


CVC: Photo submitted

Although Doiron spoke in great detail about CVC, he mentioned that no one would ever know the full experience unless they actually travel there for the life-changing experience.

Doiron is in his eighth year as the Executive Director of the Vicksburg YMCA, and he plans on making the CVC trip until the day he retires.

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