The YMCA started Camp Dudley, America’s first known summer camp, located in Lake Orange, NY in 1885. According to Y-USA “The goal of the camp was to provide children with a positive developmental experience through making new friends, building confidence and growing in self-reliance.” YMCA of Frederick County summer camps are still accomplishing these goals 135 years later, and serving hundreds of children each year.
With the onset of COVID-19, our summer camp team has been working hard to plan a safe enriching summer camp while putting the health and safety of our campers and staff first and foremost.
- Health Screening. Every day, both children and staff are required to be screened for Covid-19 including taking temperatures.
- Smaller Group Sizes. This year summer campers will be in cohorts of 14 or less, divided by age. The cohort will have the same staff each day and groups will not mix and intermingle.
- Mask. Children and staff will be required to wear masks on buses and staff will wear masks at all appropriate times.
- Cleaning practices and good hygiene. Extra staff has been hired to assist in cleaning program areas and equipment throughout the day. Campers wash/sanitize their hands multiple times throughout the day including upon arrival, before and after each activity or meal, after every restroom break, and upon pick up at the end of the day.
With all of these new rules and procedures in place, we are happy to report that the campers had an amazing first week of camp. While they would prefer to intermingle with the kids in other camps and not have so many new safety rules, they are accepting that this the new reality this summer. Overall, our campers have enjoyed getting out of the house and reconnecting with their peers and making new friends. It is definitely more fun than sitting on the couch.
The Y has some really great new features and activities in store for our YMCA Camp West Mar campers this summer.
- A new Giant Swing, generously donated by the Delaplaine Foundation, INC., is quickly becoming a camper favorite.
- We are pouring the foundation for a new pavilion next week that will be located by the ropes course.
- The pool has been upgraded with new pumps and filters and we now have HVAC in all cabins.
For children staying in the city of Frederick for camp, there are some fun new sites.
- The Y Arts Center, located in the former Board of Education building at 115 E. Church Street, has opened and has over 9 classrooms that can house summer camp during the day and dance and Arts and Humanities classes at night.
- Frederick Community College has allowed us to rent the Carl and Norma Miller Children’s Center. The site has access to some great spaces at FCC and campers and staff are having fun exploring the trails and fields.
By giving to the Endowment Fund through the Heritage Club or the Legacy Society, you designate your funds to support Frederick YMCA Summer Camps. The YMCA Endowment can support scholarships for a kid to have a camp experience at YMCA West Mar or participate in one of our many day camps here in Frederick County. With the economic uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused parents, it is comforting to know that support from the Y Endowment Fund will provide Y camp scholarships to deserving kids for many years to come!
Tom Clingman, Vice President of Social Responsibility
Should you or a loved one be interested in learning more about planned giving options at the YMCA of Frederick County, please contact Tom Clingman at (301) 663-5131 or firstname.lastname@example.org .