Traveling Day Camp: Ymca Adventure

what is traveling day camp at ymca

The YMCA's day camps offer children and teens a range of activities, from traditional camps with themes like sports, art and music, to specialty camps like Space Camp, and even camps for specific age groups like preschoolers and teens. Day campers get to explore creativity, teamwork and leadership, develop new skills, make friends and have fun, all while being cared for by experienced staff. The camps are typically held at YMCAs and community locations, with some offering transportation to and from the camp.

Characteristics Values
Camp activities Archery, arts and crafts, field games, swimming, basketball, soccer, flag football, baseball, a mix of all sports, aquatics, space camp, leadership training, etc.
Camp schedule Ice-breaking welcome activity, hands-on learning time, reading time, unstructured choice time, goal review, devotion/huddle time, activity times, lunch, snack breaks, swim time
Camper safety First aid, CPR, child abuse prevention, water safety, health and safety protocols, medication administration, emergency contacts, bus safety
Camper development Skill-building, inclusion, friendship, self-confidence, self-esteem, positive values, creativity, teamwork, leadership, personal growth, awareness of self and others, etc.
Camper requirements Closed-toe shoes, athletic wear, sunscreen, swimwear, towel, warm clothing, old clothes, nutritious breakfast, non-perishable lunch, snacks, water bottle, backpack, flip flops
Transportation Free bus transportation to and from day camp, drop-off and pick-up by guardians, photo ID, authorized pick-up list, bus rules, bus delays


Camp activities

YMCA camps offer a wide range of activities to keep campers engaged, active, and having fun. A typical day at camp includes devotion or huddle time, multiple activity times, lunch, snack breaks, and swimming. Campers are grouped based on grade and age, with each small group, or huddle, consisting of around 20-25 campers and two counselors.

The activities offered vary depending on the type of camp and the location, but here is a detailed overview of some common camp activities:

Traditional Camps: These camps offer a diverse range of activities such as swimming, games, arts and crafts, and sports. Each week features a different theme, ensuring that campers stay engaged and excited. Traditional camps are a great option for those who want to try a bit of everything.

Sports and Aquatics Camps: These camps focus on sports skills and strategies, offering a full spectrum of sports such as basketball, soccer, flag football, and baseball. Swimming is also a key component, with swim assessments conducted to ensure the safety and confidence of each camper in the water.

Specialty Camps: These camps cater to specific interests and skills. For example, Space Camp offers an exciting twist to the traditional camp experience. There are also STEAM camps that explore topics in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Other specialty camps include music, cooking, and adventure camps.

Leader-in-Training (LIT) and Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Camps: These camps are designed for teens who want to develop leadership skills and learn about responsibility. The LIT program is aimed at younger teens to prepare them for success in high school and beyond, while the CIT program teaches teens how to be camp counselors under the guidance of experienced staff.

Track Out Camps: These camps are held during teacher workdays and school holidays, providing a fun and educational break from the regular school year. Campers can foster friendships, enhance creativity, build confidence, learn new skills, stay active, and have fun in a safe environment.

Overnight Camps: These camps offer a home away from home experience for campers, with locations in picturesque settings across the country. From one weekend to an entire season, campers form lasting friendships and create memorable outdoor adventures.

Family Camps: Family camps at YMCA provide an opportunity for families to bond and create lasting memories together. Families can explore new adventures and connect with other families in beautiful natural surroundings.

The activities at YMCA camps are designed to encourage skill-building, creativity, teamwork, leadership, and, most importantly, fun! Campers are given the freedom to discover their interests and passions while making new friends and creating lasting memories.

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Camper safety

The YMCA ensures that its staff are well-trained and experienced in working with children and youth. They undergo a minimum of 62 hours of training before the first day of camp and are trained in first aid, CPR, child abuse prevention, water safety, and health and safety protocols. The staff are also committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all campers, regardless of their background or abilities.

To ensure the health and safety of campers, the YMCA implements enhanced sanitation practices, including frequent handwashing. Staff will sanitize supplies and facilities throughout the day, and handwashing procedures are reinforced and integrated into activities. Campers are also encouraged to stay hydrated, and touchless water filling stations are available for them to refill their water bottles.

In terms of sun protection, the YMCA recommends that parents apply sunscreen rated SPF 50 or higher to their campers each morning and send them with a hat to wear outdoors. Campers should also bring their own labelled bottle of sunscreen to camp, and staff will remind them to reapply throughout the day, especially after water-related activities.

The YMCA also takes bullying very seriously. Staff are trained to identify and resolve bullying behaviour, and they work to create a safe and inclusive environment for all campers. If a camper or their parent feels uncomfortable about something happening at camp, they are encouraged to speak to the staff immediately so that they can help and resolve the conflict.


Camper pick-up and drop-off

For pick-up, parents or guardians are required to display a YMCA pick-up card on their car windshield and present photo identification. All children must be buckled up before leaving. If someone other than a parent or guardian is collecting the child, the YMCA camp director must be informed in writing.

The YMCA of San Diego County has a late pick-up policy, charging a fee of $1 per minute after camp ends. If a child is not picked up by 6:30 pm, Child Protective Services will be contacted.


Camper behaviour expectations

At the YMCA, we want every camper to have a fantastic camp experience, full of fun, learning and growth. To ensure that we maintain a safe environment and that each camper is free to experience camp life to its fullest, we will not tolerate any behaviour that takes that opportunity away from other campers. We will address all incidents such as bullying and irresponsible behaviour seriously, and our staff are trained to recognise and deal effectively with such behaviour.

We expect campers to show respect to other campers and treat them as they would like to be treated. We encourage campers to be friendly and inclusive towards one another, and to have fun together. Campers should also show respect to camp staff and cooperate fully with their instructions. We expect campers to communicate in an appropriate manner, which means refraining from using foul language or gestures, harsh words or tones of voice.

Campers should refrain from any form of deliberate bodily harm to other campers or staff, including pushing, kicking, hitting or fighting. This type of behaviour will not be tolerated. We also expect campers to respect the property of others and the camp, which includes refraining from stealing, property damage, graffiti or vandalism. Campers should remain with the group and within the set boundaries at all times.

Physical displays of affection or romantic behaviour are not allowed under any circumstances. Campers are expected to be fully responsible for their actions and understand that irresponsible behaviour will result in disciplinary action or dismissal from camp. Campers are also responsible for their personal belongings and are encouraged to leave their electronics at home.

We ask that campers familiarise themselves with and follow the rules of the camp. We want everyone to have lots of fun, learn, grow, and have a great time!


Camper preparation

To ensure your child has the best experience possible at the YMCA Day Camp, there are a few things you can do to prepare them for their time at camp. Firstly, it is important to pack the right clothing and gear. This includes closed-toe shoes, athletic shorts or shirts, a sweatshirt or light jacket, a swimsuit, and a towel. Send your child in old clothes that they can comfortably run and play in, as they will be participating in various activities such as climbing and painting. Additionally, pack a nutritious breakfast for your child to eat before camp and a healthy non-perishable lunch for them to eat during the day. You may also want to pack two snacks as meals are not provided by the camp. It is also recommended to send your child with a water bottle, clearly labelled with their name, and apply sunscreen to them before they arrive at camp.

To ensure your child's safety, it is important to complete any necessary forms and waivers prior to their attendance. This includes a medical form and a permission to administer medication form if required. All campers must also have a government-issued photo ID to sign in and out of camp.

During the camp, there will be a variety of activities such as swimming, sports, arts and crafts, and games. To make the most of their time, encourage your child to participate in these activities with an open mind and a positive attitude. Remind them to follow the YMCA's four core values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Finally, it is important to discuss any concerns or special requests with the camp staff. They are trained to support skill development, inclusion, and a fun environment for your child.

Frequently asked questions

Day camps at the YMCA are a great way for kids to have fun, make new friends, and learn new skills. They offer a wide range of activities such as swimming, sports, arts and crafts, and more. Day camps are led by experienced staff who ensure that campers are safe and supported in their skill development.

Traveling day camps at the YMCA provide campers with the opportunity to explore different locations and experience new adventures. They can visit community locations, theme parks, local parks, beaches, and other exciting places. This adds variety and excitement to the camp experience, allowing campers to discover new interests and create lasting memories.

Registration processes may vary depending on your location. You can typically register for a day camp in person, online, or over the phone. It is recommended to check with your local YMCA branch or visit their website to find specific registration instructions and requirements.

Your child should bring essential items such as closed-toe shoes, comfortable clothing, a backpack, a water bottle, sunscreen, and a healthy lunch. They may also need additional items depending on the specific activities offered by the camp, such as a swimsuit and towel for swimming. It is advised to refer to the packing list provided by your local YMCA branch for a comprehensive list of items to bring to camp.

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