WHEELING- Whether they’re swimming in the pool or playing some basketball, the Wheeling YMCA summer camps are the perfect hangout for children looking to stay busy this summer.
“The kids get a lot. They build a comradery with the peers and other kids at the camp. They also build a comradery with the counselors and as a counselor we provide a positive role model for the kids as they’re growing up,” said Theo Blackston, senior camp counselor.
The YMCA hosts between 140 and 180 kids per day and while they’re here, the camp counselors certainly keep these kids busy.
“It’s good for the community because it’s a really fun safe environment for kids to be. They are really busy, they play different games, we do talent shows, try to expose them to a lot of different things. We go on a lot of field trips,” said Sabrina Metz, assistant camp director.
The YMCA has long hours that benefit working parents starting at 7:15 in the morning and a late pickup ending at 5:30 in the evening. They also serve a healthy free lunch and breakfast through Ohio Valley schools. And one thing is certain, the time spent at the YMCA leaves a lasting impact on the campers.
“One of my favorite days here was when I first came here in first grade, I was scared because I didn’t know what to do but everyone cared for me and I felt okay so that’s my first day,” said Shauny Dodd, a camper at the YMCA.
And as for the counselors, they hope to teach the children a camp some important life lessons.
“Be positive, be happy, we don’t want to spread negativity at the work place so we want them to chase their dreams and enjoy being a kid while it lasts,” said Blackston.
Anyone interested in singing their child up for day camps this summer can visit http://wheelingymca.org/summer-camp.