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Summer fun at the YMCA

Feature Image: 13-year-old Michael Rivera (in center dressed in black) had the best time in Y Summer Camp last year and can’t wait to return this summer. *Photo taken when Hillsborough County mask mandate excluded children in Summer Camp programs.


Whether you have a little one or a teenager, the YMCA has a camp that will give your child a summer they will never forget!

“We are looking forward to another terrific summer of camp,” says Bart Cape, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA vice president of operations. “We were able to safely serve over 12,000 campers in the summer of 2020 with our enhanced protocols and anticipate an even stronger summer this year.”

When schools switched to virtual learning due to COVID-19, Liva Rivera says she just wanted her son, Michael, 13, to get out of the house.

“He was just home 24 hours a day and not really socializing, sitting in front of the TV playing video games,” Rivera says. “It was depressing. I just wanted him to get out of the house and be around people, so I didn’t have a whole lot of fear about it.”

Despite camp looking a little different last summer, Rivera says it was the best experience of her son’s life.

“He loved it so much he wanted to be there every single day of summer,” she says. “He came out of his shell and his confidence is through the roof. Everyone has a different perspective about all of this going on, but I felt like he was going to be just fine at the Y. And thankfully, he was.”

Rivera says her son looks forward to returning this year.

“We’re all hoping things are going to be a little bit more normal now with a lot of people starting to get the (coronavirus) vaccine, so I have no reservations about sending him back this summer,” she says. “It was an awesome experience, it really was.”


Like last summer, the Y plans on keeping extra precautions in place. Camp leaders and counselors have been trained on safety protocols based on recommendations from the American Camp Association, Centers for Disease and Control Prevention and local health officials. Camp starts June 1, 2021.

“Some families missed the experience of summer camp for their children last summer and we are already starting to see elevated registrations as we enter into the early spring,” Bart says. “Camp is such an impactful and life-changing experience for children and it will be great to see our families again soon.”

YMCA Summer Camp staff are experienced and ready for a safe, fun-filled summer adventure. Parents can register at Ys across Hillsborough and East Pasco counties here: www.tampaymca.org/programs/camp/summer-camp and at Ys in Pinellas, West Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties here: www.ymcasuncoast.org/summercamp.


About the Author: Kelli Biandudi is the Communications Manager for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. She lives with her family in downtown Tampa. When she’s not promoting the good work of the YMCAs of Tampa Bay, she’s busy working out at them and trying to keep up with her 5-year-old son, Koa.


Originally published in March 2021

Kelli Biandudi
Kelli Biandudihttps://www.tampaymca.org/

Kelli Biandudi is the Communications Manager for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA. She lives with her family in downtown Tampa. When she’s not promoting the good work of the YMCAs of Tampa Bay, she’s busy working out at them and trying to keep up with her 5-year-old son, Koa.

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