|The Campbell County YMCA's Summer Day Camp program offers surprising flexibility.|
With summer break in full swing, perhaps you've enjoyed taking your children to the pool and the parks. You've taken bike rides together, scooted them out the door to play outside with friends, signed them up for the library's summer reading program. But maybe, just maybe, you're regretting not signing them up for summer camps.
Guess what? You still can.
Many parents and caregivers don't realize that the Campbell County YMCA simply asks for a three-business-day turnaround between dropping off paperwork and the actual start date of the camp you wish to enroll your children. And you aren't limited to the full week, either. This flexibility is ideal for families who are traveling over the summer, have flexible work schedules or have care established for certain days of the week, but need help filling in the gaps. Currently there's room in every camp being offered for the remaining of the summer.
"What really sold us on the Y camp was the flexibility," Fort Thomas resident Angel Beets says. "We need childcare three days a week—and not even consecutive days—so I was excited to learn we could go with a three-, four- or five-day option. Even better, we can choose which three days to send our girls."
Nikki Boop, Family Life Director for Campbell/Kenton County Family YMCA says in addition to part-time (one to three days a week) camp and full-time (four to five days a week) camp, they also offer pre-camp (6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and post-camp (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Regular camp runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. "We provide swim lessons and lunch as an option, too," Boop says.
Camps are open to children 5 years and older. Those who are 11-14 can participate in Teen Camp (perfect for preteens/teens who aren't quite ready to stay at home alone all day or have found themselves bored while doing so). Those who are 15-17 years old can participate in a the Y's Leaders In Training Program.
"Campers enjoy playing both active and nonactive games, swimming, a field trip once a week, reading time, arts and crafts, snack and other activities," Boop says. "We switch activities about every 30-45 minutes depending on age."
Fort Thomas resident Sarah Foster says her daughter Madeleine has liked the Y camps in the past because she was able to swim every day, do crafts in the morning and play in the gym a lot. "I liked the camps because it seemed like the staff made a great effort to make the days fun for the kids," Foster says. "The counselors were high energy and always very friendly to the kids."
Boop has worked at various YMCA's for almost 18 years, and has run summer, special needs, preschool, bike and outdoor adventure camps. She says one of the greatest joys of organizing summer camps is watching a child being brought up through the Y. "Seeing them start as a 5 year old [and later] becoming a Leader in Training participant to a counselor is really cool," Boop says. "Seeing a child grow in all aspects from week to week, and month to month, is wonderful as well."
The Campbell County YMCA has been offering summer camps for more than 15 years, Boop says, and are American Camping Association certified with strict guidelines on camper safety. "We provide a safe, fun and caring environment for the kids," Boop says.
Near the end of the school year, the YMCA was fundraising throughout Kenton and Campbell County schools. "If a child or parent donated $10 or more the child go to throw pie in the face of their favorite school-age child care counselor," Boop says. "The kids were so excited, the staff was excited, and the school staff came out to see it, too."
To download a list of all the camps still being offered this summer, go here and select "Campbell Kenton County." To register, visit the Campbell County YMCA and fill out a registration form. Also pick up the parent packet for details about your child's camp. You will need to submit immunization records at time or registration.
There's a $25 registration fee per child, $50 maximum per family. For children ages 5-12 and 11-14, part-time camp (one to three days a week) costs $90 per week for members, and $120 per week for nonmembers. Full-time camp (four to five days a week) costs $140 per week for members, and $175 per week for nonmembers. Leaders in Training (ages 5-17) costs $75 per week. Extended camp options are an additional charge.
For more information, email Nikki Boop at nboop@myY.org.
"Every Y I have worked at we have amazing, dedicated staff from top to bottom and we all have the teamwork mentality," Boop says. "The Campbell/Kenton County Y is no different."