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June 19, 2014
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Gold Country YMCA brings summer day camp to Grass Valley

Gold Country YMCA will hold its very first Grass Valley summer day camp in July, giving students K-6 an exciting and safe environment to have fun while interacting with other kids in the area.

A branch of the YMCA Superior California, the Gold Country YMCA was launched in January.

“It usually starts small with a group of local community members expressing a desire to have YMCA programs and services,” CEO of YMCA Superior California Jay Lowden said.

“We decided one area where we could provide a program and introduce the YMCA to the community is through a summer day camp program.”

The camps will be led by YMCA camp counselors and volunteers at the Memorial Park Clubhouse located on the 400 block of Memorial Lane in Grass Valley.

There will be two camp sessions from July 21-25, and July 28-Aug. 1, held every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving kids the opportunity to embark on non-stop adventures and activities that reinforce the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

“It’s just going to be a very well-rounded camp. Making friends, having fun, and all in a good setting,” volunteer Gold Country YMCA organizer Maryjane Huenergardt said.

A typical day at the Gold Country YMCA day camp consists of morning games, skits, and songs sung by the group of children during the “Campfire Roundup.”

Students will be given a morning snack time, which kids are required to bring to camp, followed by stationed activities organized and led by camp leaders.

In the afternoon, kids will be given various outdoor and education-based activities that include swimming, tennis, flag football, hands-on science projects, and reading programs.

The camp will then provide afternoon snacks for camp attendees before their parents pick them up.

“We hope that they’re exhausted by the end of the day, and we hope they have fun,” Huenergardt said.

All YMCA staff are first aid and CPR certified and are required to attend mandatory trainings on safety, child abuse prevention and reporting, age appropriate activities, conflict resolution, and positive discipline.

Huenergardt said that the camp will also have a leader-in-training program for students seventh through ninth grade to volunteer in the camp.

“They go through an application process and interview with us, and are treated like any other staff member,” Huenergardt said. “It just gives older kids a chance to be a part of the camp as a leader.”

The cost per camp session is $110, but the YMCA does have some need-based financial assistance for specific camp participants and families that need a reduced rate.

“We’ve had some donations, and it’s also factored into the camp’s budget,” Huenergardt said. “We don’t send kids to camp for free, but we can get them in greatly reduced.”

Gold Country YMCA has previously held programs during the year at Chicago Park.

Huenergardt says that the group is looking to get more feedback from the local community around what families and youth need in the area.

“I would personally love a facility,” Huenergardt said. “But we need to get a grasp of what the community actually wants and needs to understand what YMCA services are the best fit for this area.”

For more information on day camp at Gold Country YMCA or how to register, contact GoldCountryY@ymcasuperiorcal.org.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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The Union Updated Jun 19, 2014 10:54AM Published Jun 20, 2014 10:52AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.