Great Programs Your Local YMCA May Offer

If you're not familiar with the YMCA in your area, you could be missing out on a wealth of programs dedicated to helping people of all ages grow and thrive. With programs that focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, plus many locations that offer health and fitness programs dedicated to things like increasing energy, decreasing stress, preventing illness, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you really can't go wrong by checking out your local YMCA.

An added bonus is the huge variety of kids summer programs that promote positive self-esteem, good decision-making, self-help and care.

Check out these seasonal programs designed for children ages 4 and up.

Day Camps

Many local YMCAs offer summer day camps for kids ages 4 to 14. All camps are supervised by trained staff and are designed to reinforce leadership skills and independence. Kids can enjoy playing games like archery and dodgeball, making arts and crafts, exploring science and technology, going on field trips, swimming and much more. Many programs offer themed weeks to keep interest high and to get children more involved in that week's activities.

More: 8 Tips for Choosing a Summer Camp

Overnight Camps

Overnight camps are also offered by a number of local YMCAs to children ages 7 to 17. Campers get a well-rounded experience with activities like horseback riding, swimming, ropes, kayaking, and camp fires. Check your local YMCA for specific age requirements and activities offered.

Teen Wilderness

Depending on where you live, your local YMCA may offer Teen Wilderness Camps. These camps are designed to get campers moving through nature. Activities include canoeing, backpacking and rock climbing trips. These camps are generally reserved for children ages 12 to 18. Note that these camps usually sell out quickly and many YMCAs have a lottery system for registration.

Specialty Camps

Does your camper dream of being an Olympic gymnast? Or does he/she aspire to be the next top chef? YMCA specialty camps give kids the opportunity to explore nature, discover new talents, and try new activities. See what specialized camps your local Y has on tap—you never know what will spark your child's interest.

Sports Camps

For those children who are interested in sports, the Y offers specialized sports camps, too. From soccer camps to summer swim teams, your YMCA can be a great resource for old-fashioned team sports.

Programs at the YMCA are affordable and cater to all community members. Many YMCAs offer a number of membership levels so you can see what fits your family and your budget. Members also usually receive camp discounts, but membership is not required for registration.

More: 8 Affordable Ways to Pay for Kids Summer Camp

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