Summer Day Camp, the Champaign Family YMCA’s flagship summer program, begins on Monday, June 5. Since the late 1990s the local Y has provided thousands of area children action-packed days that include swimming, camp games and songs, sports, immersion in the great outdoors and team-building activities. Summer Camp at the Y, accredited through the American Camping Association (ACA), enables children to explore their individuality, make new friends, hike in the woods, and learn about the natural world at the Y’s 88-acre Camp Shiffer.
During each of the 10 camp weeks (June 5 to Aug. 11) children can enroll in traditional camp or participate in one of two weekly specialty camps including: animal adventures, media, woodworking, culinary creations, photography, mad scientist, sports sampler, Bon Appetite, Cheer & tumble, water wipeout, inventor’s workshop, and art & music. Registration information is available at the Y (191 Community Drive in Urbana; 937-653-9622; champaignfamilyymca.org).
The Champaign Family YMCA compiled five reasons children should attend summer camp:
•Adventure: Summer camp is all about a wide variety of new experiences, and especially exploring the outdoors. YMCA camps have a new adventure for every child and teen.
•Healthy fun: Day camps offer fun, stimulating activities that engage the body and mind and help children and teens learn the importance of nutrition to help improve their eating habits.
•Personal growth: While in the welcoming environment of camp, youths are encouraged to learn new skills and develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges. Camps offer cognitive learning and social-emotional development opportunities for achievement.
•Friendships: Amidst the fun of camp games, songs, swimming, and talent shows, campers meet new friends and strengthen existing friendships. The bonds formed at camp are important and lasting for many youths.
•Memories: Summer camp is an unforgettable experience that gives children a lifetime of memories. Youth return to school with plenty of camp stories to share!
Research has validated the observations of camp directors: Spending time outside is important not only for a child’s mental health, but also for brain and eye health. Children who spend more time in nature develop increased concentration, memory and self-discipline.
An experienced and enthusiastic camp staff help the children set goals, have fun, teach critical thinking and help create future leaders. At summer camp children develop self-esteem, character, courage, responsibility, resourcefulness, and cooperation. Quality camp experiences help children develop the healthy emotional and social skills necessary to grow into strong, considerate, competent adults. Parents are invited to stop by the Y to register or to speak with Nicky Naylor, YMCA Camp Director.
Submitted by Champaign Family YMCA.