The Y is Giving Kids Their Best Summer Ever

Feb14 NC web banner-1

Trading stories and sharing a favorite book or song with a new friend. Being greeted with smiles and high-fives from staff and team-mates after scoring the winning point. Always fitting in, just for being you. This is what the Y’s day camp is all about, and we are ensuring kids get more out of summer: more learning, more exploration and more achievement. For parents and guardians who enjoy seeing their child’s face glow when retelling a camp story, and want to see their child accomplish things, consider adding Y day camp to your list of things to do this summer.

The Y’s day camp offers a mix of fun and educational activities aimed at improving kids’ well-being, such as swimming, hands-on science experiments with University of Pittsburgh’s School of Science, nature hikes and developing 21st Century skills through leadership and small group team building. Our program centers on three areas proven to impact kids’ development: friendship, accomplishment and belonging.

“I really like that my daughter gets to be outside during summer and is busy with a variety of activities and making new friends.  She’s safe while I’m at work and the counselors seem to take a genuine interest in her and really try to make it a positive experience.”

Day Camper’s Mom 2014

 Working with SEER Analytics, a national research firm, the Y recently surveyed nearly 30,000 parents and caregivers with kids enrolled in camp at nearly 190 Y associations across the country to find out how camp benefits kids. Ninety-two percent of parents/caregivers said they agreed the Y’s day camp program helped kids make new friends. In addition, 83 percent said they agreed the program helped their kids discover what they can achieve, while 87 percent agreed their child felt a sense of belonging at their Y camp.

“At the Y, we know that when kids are given an opportunity to accomplish new skills, make friends and feel like they belong, they are comfortable expressing individuality and feel more confident, connected and supported,” says Todd Brinkman, vice president of Camping Services at the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.  “We are focusing on these youth development areas to ensure that kids in our day 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.”

The Y’s day camp activities help kids grow socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. Character development provides a universal theme that’s been a hallmark in Y youth programming for over 160 years.  Caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are woven in to activities and modeled by counselors. Kids develop in to better leaders when they learn to work with and support other kids for a common goal.  They increase their appreciation of diversity by learning to respect people of different cultures, abilities and incomes.  And, they can develop stronger personal and family relationships by learning to care more about how they communicate and interact with friends and family.

As a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, the Y offers so much more than a place to play and have fun. Through a holistic approach to youth development, the Y nurtures the potential of children and teens from birth to career to help them achieve in school and life. Through day camp and other youth development programs, the Y is working to keep kids active and address gaps in learning when school is not in session.

To learn more about the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh’s Day Camp programs throughout Allegheny County, visit www.YDayCamps.org  or contact your local Y http://www.ymcaofpittsburgh.org/locations/

For Y Day Camps in Butler and Cranberry visit: www.bcfymca.org

Rose E. Schneider YMCA, 724-452-9122

Butler YMCA, 724-287-4733

For Y Day Camp in Sewickley visit: http://www.sewickleyymca.org

Sewickley Valley YMCA 412-741-9622 ext. 103