YMCA and United Way to Partner on Summer Serve

Providing local youth the opportunity to volunteer, develop leadership skills, and make a positive impact on their community.

The YMCA of Frederick County will be partnering with the United Way of Frederick County to offer Summer Serve,  a summer camp providing Frederick County youth (age 12-17) the opportunity to learn, grow and help their community thrive! 

“Summer Serve is a remarkable tradition of educating our community’s youth about life-enriching opportunities  to help those in need in Frederick County,” said Ken Oldham, CEO of United Way of Frederick County, “and we can think of no better partner than YMCA, provided their long history of youth development activities and service to others, to help carry on that tradition.”

This six-week program, divided into three separate two-week sessions, is designed to help young people awaken their inner leader, build teamwork skills, and meet like-minded peers while creating positive change in their community. Summer Serve participants learn about different areas of need in Frederick County through hands-on experience while working on service projects at various local nonprofits. Service hours are provided.

“It’s a natural fit. This is what we do every day,” said Evan Bates, Teen Program Coordinator. “Between our existing Y Leaders Program and We Grow Program, the Y provides opportunities for local youth to be who they are and become who they want to be while making a difference in the community.”

Summer Serve was not offered in 2020 due to COVID but in 2019 there were a total of 71 Summer Serve participants, who collectively contributed 1,815 volunteer hours to the Frederick Community (about $44,812 in labor that small non-profit organizations cannot afford to pay.)

“The YMCA is excited about this partnership, said Bates, and we look forward to continuing the Summer Serve legacy while expanding the program so more youth can have a positive impact on our Frederick County community.”

All Summer Serve participants have the opportunity to apply for Leadership Week at the end of the summer. Leadership Week participants receive information and resources to become a leader in their community through guest speakers, activities, games, and more. Participants receive resume-building and job skills through workshops and mock interviews while networking and getting to know the community they live in.