It is clear the YMCA of Southern Interior BC wants to get as many kids moving as possible this summer.
The local charity has quadrupled the size of its Kelowna summer camp program to 2,000 openings. There will be nine weeks of School-Age Camps for those between the ages of six and 12, and they will operate out of the YMCA’s Rutland and Mission locations.
“We saw a need in the community,” says Graeme McCallum, the local YMCA’s senior manager of child and youth programs. “As a health-focussed non-profit, we saw a gap in recreation-based camps locally, including sport and swim camps, and want to encourage children and youth to get active, and try new things.”
The camps will run for a week at a time. Each will focus on either basketball, soccer or multi-sport, but that is not the only activity the children will do. They will hit the pool and play their chosen sport in the morning, and in the afternoon they will go outside and choose from a variety of activities during down time, including games, crafts and more.
“Each of the camps has a physical literacy component and a social-emotional learning component, and then we’re also instilling our YMCA core values, which include being caring, honest and respectful of others,” McCallum says. “We want to keep kids engaged and learning to while getting them active, moving and healthy, mentally and physically, throughout the summer.
“There’s multiple ways to do that, including swimming or sports. It can be meditation, it can be yoga, it can be tag, or it can be all the fun games that kids enjoy playing.”
The YMCA is also offering Kinder Camps for those between the ages of three and five, though space is limited. They run daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rutland and Mission locations, and include swimming, other physical activities and outdoor play.
The organization’s mission is to make the summer camps accessible for all, so it is encouraging all parents to inquire no matter how much money is in their bank accounts. Financing is available to make the camps available for all families, including those with multiple children.
“Thanks to our generous donors, we have a funds available for people for financial assistance to remove barriers for families,” McCallum says. “We want to make sure that camps are accessible to everybody in our community. I really want to encourage people to reach out and inquire about that.”
The local YMCA is also looking to hire students who are interested in running the camps.
“It’s a really great training opportunity, a great summer job, and an opportunity for people to build some skills and get some experience,” McCallum says.
Learn more about the YMCA’s summer camps on its website here.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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