With so many demands on today’s families and the increased focus on early brain development, families need all the support they can get to nurture the potential of youth. That’s why child care and early learning programs at the Y focus on holistically nurturing child development by providing a safe and healthy place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-reliance through the Y values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
Children are like sponges – they watch and absorb knowledge, skills and values from everything and everyone around them. At the Y, we believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for quality of life and future success. That’s why our child care, after-school and Child Watch programs are staffed with people who understand the cognitive, physical and social development of kids, the need children have to feel connected and supported in trying new things, and the caring and reinforcement parents and families need to help each other. At the Y, babies develop trust and security, preschoolers experience early literacy and learn about their world, and school-age kids make friends, learn new skills and do homework. Most importantly, children learn how to be their best selves. That makes for confident kids today, and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow.
SWIM, SPORTS & PLAY
The Y is the starting point for many youth to learn about becoming and staying active, and developing healthy habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. And the benefits are far greater than just physical health. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in sports at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out.
Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise and a challenging sport. Ys offer swim lessons (for all ages), family swim, competitive swimming and diving teams, and many kinds of adaptive swim programs for kids with special needs, so we can all enjoy safely enjoy the pleasures of an aquatic environment.
Teen centers, group exercise, arts—there’s a lot more than sports at the Y, giving kids the chance to exert energy, try new things, make new friends … and be kids!
Soccer, volleyball, karate, basketball, gymnastics—check out the sports offerings at your Y and get in the game. Improve your skills, make new friends, be active with other kids and learn to love a sport at the Y.
Overnight, day or specialty camps at the Y share one thing: they’re about discovery. Kids have the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. And, of course, it’s fun too.
Camping, like many Y programs, is about learning skills, developing character and making friends. But few environments are as special as camp, where kids become a community as they learn both how to be more independent and how to contribute to a group as they engage in physical, social and educational activities. Camping teaches self-reliance, a love for nature and the outdoors, and the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership—all amidst the fun of camp fires, bugle calls, canoeing, archery, talent shows, and meaningful relationships. Y counselors are dedicated to making sure camp is an amazing experience for every camper.
We have more than 130 years of experience in providing a safe, thriving environment for young people to explore personal interests, build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills, discover the creativity and health benefits of the outdoors, and make lasting friendships and memories.
Y’s offer overnight camps that run from a few days to a few weeks in scenic outdoor areas that span from New Hampshire to Hawaii. Camp programs offer a wide variety of outdoor adventures led by trained and experienced leaders who guide children and teenagers in having an unforgettable experience. Expect new and fun activities that will add not only build skills but great new friends and character values for life.
Day camp can offer almost all of the benefits of traditional camp—new experiences, skill building, a sense of community and lasting friendships — in rural and urban settings while allowing campers to return home each afternoon. YMCAs across the nation offer day camps for elementary children and some have offerings for preschoolers and teens.
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Camping is for everyone, and the Y offers specialty camps that focus on particular programming like teen adventure, music, sports specialties and farm/ranch experiences and for campers with special needs. Youth with developmental disabilities, physical and mental health challenges or other impairments that may require special attention or benefit from like-situated campers have opportunities through the Y.