Swim endurance test, check. Downhill skateboarding, check. Pole climbing, check. Each year when Braeden comes back to camp, he sets a new goal for himself. See how the Y's camps helped this kid with diabetes gain the confidence he needs to take on the world. This is his Y. His camera. His story.
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"My Kids' Friends Will Be There for Them."
Carolyn's kids go to summer learning camp and have made a lot of friends their age, but their friends who also happen to be camp counselors are teaching them that they'll be there for so much more: tutoring, leadership skills and building confidence. This is their Y. Their camera. Their story.
Camping, like many Y programs, is about learning skills, developing character and making friends. But few environments are as special as camp, where kids become a community as they learn both how to be more independent and how to contribute to a group as they engage in physical, social and educational activities. Camping teaches self-reliance, a love for nature and the outdoors and the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership—all amidst the fun of campfires, bugle calls, canoeing, archery, talent shows and meaningful relationships. Y counselors are dedicated to making sure camp is an amazing experience for every camper.
- The Y is one of the largest providers of camp programs. There are over 1,850 day camps across the country, 315 resident camps for youth and teens and many specialty camp programs that meet the diverse needs of children and teens, such as youth with disabilities and illnesses.
- Ys nationwide serve 1.4 million youth and adults at camps every year, including 970,000 kids and adults through summer day and resident camp programs and more than 439,000 youth, teens, families, school and retreat groups through group camping overnight programs.
- The Y gives youth early work experience, employing 61,000 college-aged young adults as summer resident camp leaders each year, guiding their career interests in youth development
- Tens of thousands of teens are annually enrolled in “Leader in Training” and “Counselor in Training” program every summer at YMCA day and resident camps that provide valuable responsibilities in leadership.
Ys offer overnight camps that run from a few days to a few weeks in scenic outdoor areas that span from New Hampshire to Hawaii. Camp programs offer a wide variety of outdoor adventures led by trained and experienced leaders who guide children and teenagers in having an unforgettable experience. Expect new and fun activities that will add not only build skills, but great new friends and character values for life.
Day camp can offer almost all of the benefits of traditional camp—new experiences, skill building, a sense of community and lasting friendships—in rural and urban settings while allowing campers to return home each afternoon. YMCAs across the nation offer day camps for elementary school children, and some have offerings for pre-schoolers and teens.
Camping is for everyone, and the Y offers specialty camps that focus on particular programming like teen adventure, music, sports specialties and farm/ranch experiences and for campers with special needs. Youth with developmental disabilities, physical and mental health challenges or other impairments that may require special attention or benefit from like-situated campers have opportunities through the Y.