One lesson we quickly learned this past year: It’s hard to plan ahead when life can get so unpredictable. You may have canceled camp plans and kept your kids home last summer for understandable reasons, but for this summer, it might be time to consider other options.
And you may have to start considering in a hurry: Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and YMCA of the Suncoast are seeing a surge in summer camp sign-ups this summer from parents who want their kids to have something fun to do this summer after the year we’ve had.
Now more than ever, kids need enrichment, education and entertainment. What better way to achieve this than outdoors with new friends? At the Y, we know when kids accomplish more, make new friends and feel like they belong, they are developing the skills they need to be successful in life.
That’s why the YMCA offers summer camp—to make sure kids and teens in Tampa Bay area are active and healthy while learning essential leadership and social skills to develop confidence and independence.
“After a year of confusion and being in homes, we’re looking forward to getting these kids out and having some great activities,” says Bart Cape, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA Vice President of Operations.
From swimming to gymnastics and everything in between, the Y offers a variety of summer camp options. Safety is a top priority, and the Y will be in constant communication with camper families about all the extra precautions to expect.
“We’re continuing the COVID safety protocols that we have in place right now,” Cape says. “We are anticipating updated mandates from the county and state and when those come out, we will adjust to those.”
Lindsay Albright’s daughter, 8-year-old Eva, is returning for her second summer at the YMCA.
“My daughter shared with me all the fun activities she did. Swimming every day was such a treat,” Albright says. “The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities were engaging and educational, yet fun for the kids. Eva enjoyed it and I felt it was a healthy, enriching environment for her. I love the member price and that breakfast and lunch are served every day. It can be a pain to pack a lunch.”
Lindsay says her daughter can’t wait to go back, “especially because she has neighborhood kids joining her this year. Other summer camps are so expensive and don’t offer all the perks of the Y.”
The YMCA Summer Camp Experience starts at $129/week depending on camp location and Y membership status. The cost savings are significant if you are a YMCA member, so now’s the time to join!
Spots are filling fast so register today to ensure your kids stay engaged socially, physically and academically throughout the summer.
- Families in Hillsborough and East Pasco counties can register at: https://www.tampaymca.org/letscamp.
- Families in Pinellas, West Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties can register at: https://www.ymcasuncoast.org/summercamp.
*photos provided by the YMCA
About the Authors: Kelli Biandudi and Lalita Llerena make up the communications team for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and YMCA of the Suncoast. Coincidentally, before their communications careers, this pair worked together for a 24-hour local TV news team. When they aren’t promoting the good work of Y, they’re both busy exploring all Tampa Bay has to offer with their families.