By DANIEL MILLER
Katie Block, who has been the camp director since June 2012, is in charge of the day camps, teen camps, play center and the Y Matters program.
“There are so many different things that the YMCA offers,” said Block. “For camps specifically, kids really gain friends, ingrain connections, gain confidence, gain maturity and learn character values.”
The McClesky location has several camps it offers to kids of all ages. Half-day camps, teen camps, traditional full-day camps, and specialty full day camps along with sports camps and pre-school programming are all fun experiences kids from age 3 and up should take advantage of year round.
“Each camp is always interesting,” Block said. “Something new happens every day. It (camp) can change on a minute by minute basis which I love.”
On a daily basis, campers can expect to have an assortment of classes such as dance, archery and gymnastics. These are some of the daily activities that are included in all the specialty camps.
If a child can’t partake during the school year, not to worry, summer camps are offered at both locations.
“There has been research done that shows that these camps are extremely healthy,” Block said. “It teaches kids how to make friends, how to resolve conflict, how to have healthy adult relationships, and teaches them self-confidence.”
“Y” Matters and The Little School Program
There is a saying when one door closes, another door opens. Well, the YMCA tries to make sure that the door never closes with a unique program called the Y Matters campaign.
“Y” Matters is our campaign for education awareness and funds,” Block said.
Last year, the program helped kids in low income households primarily in the Hispanic community, who couldn’t afford to go to camp a chance at experiencing camp first hand.
“This campaign is nonprofit, and its promise is to strengthen the community,” Block said.
In addition, the YMCA sponsors the “little school” program which is funded through Y Matters.
“Little School is a unique program,” Block said. The goal of the Little School program is helping kids develop good social and behavioral skills before they enter kindergarten.
For all the parents out there, plenty of options exist in choosing that perfect camp for your child.
There is the explorer camp featuring anyone from the ages of 5 to 8 that are both full day and half day. Each camp session has its own theme such as under the sea, Olympics, super heroes, and holidaze amongst others.
Circus, which began last year is a new camp that has generated a lot of attention. This camp allows campers to collaborate and practice how to unicycle or tumble, or do magic tricks or face painting. The camp is held at the Northeast Cobb location.
Also, included is a teen camp which offers teens ages 13-15 a chance to expand their social, work and leadership skills. The camp is involved in several community service projects and can only have 13 campers.