What Summer at the Y Means to Us
Summertime for most kids means the end of the school year and a time to relax and prepare for the next school year. For most adults, it means scrambling to find child care for your kids while you still have to work (adulting, are we right??). For others, it means not being sure where your lunch will come from while you’re not in school. At the YMCA of Central Ohio, it means the start of what we think may be the best time of year. Summer to us means a time where kids can get outside and play, where families get extra time together, when we have opportunity to help those in need and when our staff really puts in an extra effort to make the 100 days of summer we get some of the best yet.
The start of summer marks when our outdoor pools open up. Most might be excited to have another pool option. We are excited because it gives us the ability to do more: Have more swim lessons, more classes, more time to relax and rest in the sunshine. Teaching people how to swim is a life-saving skill we teach kids all year, but getting to teach kids this life-saving skill while outside with the sun shining adds just a little bit of magic to the experience. The pool is also a great chance for social interaction of all ages. Summer brings us out of hibernation and sitting in front of our TVs and instead lends its hand to us sitting on lawn chair and enjoying good conversation with friends.
Day camp, for parents, can be viewed as an option for their kids to have something to do while they’re not in school. For us, day camp is so much more. It is a time for fun and play, but also to learn new skills and make new friends. Camp staff work tirelessly to have something new and fun for kids to do every week. YMCA Camp Willson offers another layer to the camp experience offering overnight camp, giving kids of all ages the opportunity to experience the beauty in nature and make lifelong friendships and memories.
Summer is not without worry for some kids. Not every kid in central Ohio knows where their next meal will come from. We recognize this need, and are committed to ensuring kids have nutritious and delicious food. Our Child and Adult Care Food Program provides food at no cost to ages 1-18. Our goal is to give these kids one less thing to worry about, giving them more time to both enjoy their summer and be carefree. No child deserves to go hungry.
These are just a few of the reasons that summer at the Y is so special. Our hope through our work is that our commitment to Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility shine through, not just in the summer but all year around.