11:16 AM

Community Impact: It's fun to stay at the YMCA

For many families, summer childcare can be a costly expense. Summer enrichment programs, like those offered at area YMCA clubs, provide a vital resource for parents and children during the months away from school.

According to the program website, “camping, like many Y programs, is about learning skills, developing character and making friends. But few environments are as special as camp, where kids become a community as they learn both how to be more independent and how to contribute to a group as they engage in physical, social and educational activities.”

The YMCA is one of the largest providers of camp programs, with over 1,850-day camps across the country, 315 resident camps for youth and teens and many specialty camp programs that meet the diverse needs of children and teens, such as youth with disabilities and illnesses. Ys nationwide serve 1.4 million youth and adults at camps every year.

The Jackson EMC Foundation awarded grants for both the YMCA of Athens and the Winder-based YMCA of Georgia’s Piedmont at its March meeting. These grants total $22,000 and together will allow for 65 children to attend camp during the summer break. Throughout the years, the Foundation has awarded $47,500 to fund the summer camp program at the Athens YMCA and $57,000 for the winder-based Georgia’s Piedmont YMCA.