Important Policy Change

Dear Members, Camp Parents and Guests,  

Today, I’m sharing an important policy change that furthers our commitment to the protection of children in our care. Beginning Monday, June 4 the minimum age a Day Camper may be at the YMCA without adult supervision will be age 12. Currently, the minimum age is 9. The maximum time allowed for those, age 12 and up will remain at 3 hours. Any time in excess of the 3 hours, children will need to be in a supervised program or with a parent/guardian. Beginning Friday, June 15 the minimum age will change to 12 across all YMCA departments.

Why are we making this change? In partnership with YMCA of the USA, our risk management partner, Redwoods and Praesidium, a leading organization in child abuse prevention, we are required to advance our efforts in following best practices for child protection. Extensive research shows that children at the age of 12 are much better equipped in their decision making abilities, knowing right from wrong, and being able to adequately keep themselves safe at the YMCA without adult supervision.

At the end of the Camp day, children under the age of 12 will not be able to sign themselves out of Camp and will need to be picked up by a parent/guardian at the end of the Camp day. Campers age 9 - 11 are eligible to sign up for before and after camp care. Each branch and/or Camp location is working on a solution to provide other alternatives for campers who are 11 years of age and registered for Teen Camp, where after care enrollment is full.

Ultimately, we put our children first in everything we do, and their safety is of the utmost importance to us. We believe this change will help to ensure that every child has a safe and healthy experience at the Y. 

In Service, 

Steve Ives
President and CEO, YMCA of Central Ohio