This summer area youth are getting the chance not only to enjoy fun summer activities, but also to continue learning at the Yadkin Family YMCA’s day camp. The program offers a fun and educational activities aimed at improving well-being.
“With school out during the summer, many kids don’t get enough physical activity or learning — a critical gap the Y is addressing,” said Jay Sutton, executive director for the Yadkin Family YMCA. “In our camp, kids are in a safe environment with nurturing adults where they feel welcome, develop character and explore new talents and interests to reach their potential. We want to ensure that kids in our camp program go home with so much excitement for all they’ve accomplished and enjoyed that they can’t wait to come back the next day.”
Sutton said also there were a variety of age-appropriate activities for children who have completed kindergarten up through middle school and high school age teens who help serve as counselors in training.
“I’ve seen the campers make new friends and improve some of their sports skills,” Sutton added.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities are also part of the camp experience and the kids participating said they have been having fun doing different science experiments.
Last Thursday, a group of children were working on an experiment to learn about the process of evaporation.
“We put the water in the cup on Monday and then we’re trying to see how much it’s lost,” explained 8-year-old Reagan Jester.
Games, spending time with friends and doing interesting experiments are all things the kids said they were enjoying about camp. Erica Snider said being at the YMCA was her favorite part of summer.
According to a press release from the YMCA, they recently surveyed nearly 40,000 parents and caregivers with kids enrolled in camp programs across the country and found that 91 percent of parents/caregivers agreed that the Y’s day camp program helped kids make new friends.
Eric Pritchett, a STEM teacher with the program, said for him, the best part was seeing the kids enjoy learning.
“It’s just fun getting to see kids learning,” he said. “You can see the light go off and they get something out of it, especially when we do the experiments and they see why things work the way they do and they can apply that to real life situations.”
When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential, related to hunger, water safety, academics, safe spaces to play, and health. Through summer camp and other youth development programs, nationwide the Y helps over 9 million youth to “hop the gap” and achieve more, providing a safe to place to learn, stay healthy and build friendships.
To learn more about the Y’s summer day camp program, call 336-679-7962 or visit ykidscamp.org. Financial assistance is available. Camp runs through Aug. 21 and new campers may sign up at any time.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.