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YMCA Summer Adventure Camp in-need of donations

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Since the inception of its summer camp program, the YMCA has distinguished itself as an agency that gives kids a place to be, learn, grow, thrive, and just enjoy a whole lot of fun, throughout the warmer months. The 2023 Summer Adventure Camp program at the Hernando County YMCA is no exception. And now, the people of this county are called upon to help make this camp experience the best yet for participating young people.

The camp will take place on June 5th-August 11th and will run from 9 am-4 pm on Mondays-Fridays at the Hernando County YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd, Spring Hill. A before care program is also offered and begins at 7 am and an after care program ending at 6 pm, both are available at no extra charge.

This program promises a bright and vibrant seasonal adventure for area youth ages 5-12. “New experiences, skill-building, a sense of community and friendship are all part of the Summer Adventure Camp. Summer camp at the Y invites youth to be inspired through creative play, sports and more,” stated an event notice. “It is an opportunity for youth to stay engaged socially and academically.”

Each week of the camp comes complete with an individualized theme and accompanying fun activities that are all custom-designed to engage the kids intellectually. Each week of the camp will encourage them to try new things and heighten their fitness levels through physical activity and games. They will have the opportunity to develop friendships and interact with others while following physical distancing and safety protocols.

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Campers will be divided into age appropriate groups, with activities offered that are appropriate to the interests and needs of each group. “Each week is a different weekly theme in which we incorporate traditional activities like arts and crafts, games, and sports with the theme of the week,” said Amber Slusser, branch executive director of the YMCA of the Suncoast – Hernando County.

Slusser emphasizes, however, that the YMCA summer camp offers far more than sports. “Not only do we offer the traditional activities but we also incorporate a summer reading component to help reduce/curb summer learning loss,” she said.

In addition, all campers gathered are guaranteed a ‘swimmingly’ good time. “The kids do get to swim and we offer a program called Go For Green which is free swim lessons for our non-swimmers to help get them to be a “green band” or proficient swimmer by the end of the time with us,” Slusser shared.

WEEKLY CAMP THEMES will include:
Week 1: Hawaiian Luau
Week 2: Sports & Spirits
Week 3: Animal Planet Week
Week 4: Y-Survivor
Week 5: Holidays Around the World
Week 6: Master Chef
Week 7: Blast from the Past
Week 8: SuperHero Week
Week 9: Wet and Wild
Week 10: Crazy Camper Week

At this time, the public is invited to donate a multitude of practical, kid-friendly items to the YMCA summer camp program. “Some items that are needed for camp include popsicle sticks, markers, crayons, balloons, construction paper, Mason jars, glue, M&Ms/Skittles and hula hoops,” said Slusser. “We also need recyclable items such as toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, dish soap nozzles, CDs, shoeboxes and empty tin cans.”

New or gently used items accepted include kids books and board games. Those interested in donating these items can bring them to the Hernando County YMCA throughout the summer. Slusser shared, “We want kids to not only have fun and experience lasting memories, but also learn new skills, develop new friendships and incorporate learning into the fun.”

To register for the YMCA Summer Camp program, visit https://tinyurl.com/5ac33tzm.
As is the case with membership and other YMCA program fees, financial assistance is also available for this summer camp. The cost of the camp per week is Members $120, Non-Members $200. Cost includes a $20 (member) and $35 (non-member) non-refundable deposit.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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