The Y is Giving Kids Their Best Summer Ever

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

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 children active, excited, and engaged, the Y encourages you to enroll them in the Mercer County Y day camp!

The Mercer County Y’s day camp, Camp Wanawanga, offers a mix of fun and educational activities aimed at improving kids’ well-being, such as creative art projects, science experiments, team building activities, community service, and exciting trips! Our program centers on three areas proven to impact kids’ development: friendship, accomplishment and belonging.

Working with SEER Analytics to find out how camp benefits kids, the National Y recently surveyed nearly 30,000 parents and caregivers with kids enrolled in camp at nearly 190 Y associations nationwide. 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 and meet new friends, the best of memories are sure to be made. With these memorable experiences, Camp Wanawanga becomes a huge part of a camper’s childhood,” says Caitie Johnson, Day Camp Coordinator. “We are focusing on these youth development areas to ensure that kids in our day camp program grow and thrive throughout the summer. We want our campers to be so excited about their time spent at camp that they cannot wait to come back the next day!”

The Y’s day camp activities help kids grow socially, cognitively, physically, and emotionally. Campers stay busy all summer long creating crafts, experimenting with science, working together on team building projects, and exploring on field trips. We put a strong emphasis on stimulating activities such as group and individual reading times, agriculture classes, and foreign language lessons to keep campers’ brains fueled. Children are consistently active as we play group games and swim numerous times a week. And most importantly, Camp Wanawanga strives to build campers’ character and compassion by participating in weekly community service in order to give back to our gracious and supportive community.

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 Mercer County Y’s day camp program, contact Mercer County Family YMCA at 309-582-5101 or 309-582-2503