Swimming, relay races, archery, and crafts may be the perfect ingredients for a memorable childhood summer and the Stokes County YMCA offers that and more.
“We bring in different things like mad science groups and water slides. We do a lot of water activities because kids love it,” said Child Care Director Chris Chunn. “Summertime is meant to be outside and having fun.”
The Y’s children’s camp for kindergarten through fifth graders has been averaging 70 to 80 kids per week, an increase since last year.
“The kids enjoy it and then they tell their friends about it,” Chunn said.
A typical day starts with an assembly and devotion. The assembly, like a pep rally, includes songs and skits and preps campers for an adventurous, fun-filled day. Then the kids are broken into groups of kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade, and fourth and fifth.
This summer’s theme, “Be the Best You Can Be” encourages campers to set goals, whether it’s learning how to swim, shoot a bow and arrow or just obtain life skills they haven’t yet conquered, Chunn said.
One new thing for many of the campers is archery.
“Most haven’t done it and we saw a lot of bug eyes when we took them to the field where it was set up,” Chunn laughed. “They were a little nervous but as the counselors helped them you could see them gaining confidence.”
Throughout the summer the camp also focuses on teaching core values of honesty, respect, responsibility, along with cognitive and physical development.
“We want to see their confidence grow and help them stay active,” Chunn said. “We’re trying to fight the never-ending epidemic of childhood obesity so we swim every day from one to three o’clock and they’re outside playing and really keeping their energy up. We also encourage parents to pack healthy snack options.”
Chunn believes this year’s counselors made up mainly of returning college students and a few high schoolers are up for the challenge.
“We have a great staff. I feel like we really went through that process and picked the best of the best,” he said.
At the end of the day Chunn hopes campers are making memories and looking forward to coming back the next morning.
“It’s important to us that they’re learning and moving,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed watching the staff and the kids come together. There’s a lot of new friends being made.”
The Stokes Family YMCA is located in King at 105 Moore Road and offers children and teen day camps. The cost is $100 a week for members and $130 for potential members.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.