Why YMCA Summer Camps?

By Hunt Hendrickson
YMCA Endowment Committee Volunteer

If you are considering YMCA Summer Camps for your children or if your children are asking about it, then all you need to remember is the Nike slogan “Just do it”.

A brief article is not enough to describe my Y camp experience. My first experience was 2 weeks at an overnight Y Summer Camp.  The next summer was 4 weeks, and then my next 9 summers were all spent at a Y Summer Camp.  Today, some of my best friends are from my camp experiences of 50 years ago.  More than half a century later, I still support the mission of summer camp.  My family has taken up the banner where I leave off.

Your child makes a decision to go to camp because he/she perceives it to be fun.  It may be their first opportunity to be away from home and to participate in activities he/she enjoys.  Maybe it is an opportunity for them to learn new skills like archery and swimming.  Your children will get all those opportunities in a safe, caring, and respectful environment.

However, the Y Summer Camps are much more.  Just living in a cabin with 8 – 10 other kids for an extended period of time provides a platform for developing all sorts of social skills and responsibilities.  A child learns a lot about himself in this environment.  Are you a natural leader? Do you work well in a group?  Do you adapt well to new situations?  Do you make friends easily?  Can you live independently?  In most cases the answer is yes, but until now you have not been at a place to develop this new level of maturity, self- confidence, and character.

Y Summer Camps are exciting from the time they check in until the final camp fire.  The adventures along the way and the host of new friends build memories that can span a lifetime.  Your children will have ample opportunities not only to learn new skills but also to experience personal growth as they gain confidence.

The most difficult thing about the Y Summer Camps is having to spend another year in school until you can return next year.

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 an overnight camp experience at YMCA West Mar or participate in one of our many day camps here in Frederick County. I know that it gives me pleasure that my support of the Endowment will provide Y camp scholarships to some deserving kids for many years to come!

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 tclingman@frederickymca.org.