Nurturing the potential of every child and teen
With so many demands on today’s families and the increased focus on early brain development, families need all the support they can get to nurture the potential of youth. That’s why child care and early learning programs at the Y focus on holistically nurturing child development by providing a safe and healthy place to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-reliance through the Y values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
Children are like sponges – they watch and absorb knowledge, skills and values from everything and everyone around them. At the Y, we believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for quality of life and future success. That’s why our Child Care and School-Age Care programs are staffed with people who understand the cognitive, physical and social development of kids, the need children have to feel connected and supported in trying new things, and the caring and reinforcement parents and families need to help each other.
Education & Leadership
All kids have great potential. At the Y, a leading nonprofit strengthening community through youth development, we work every day to help them set and achieve their personal and educational goals. As a result, millions of children and teens nationwide gain confidence as they recognize the Y as a place where they belong and can feel comfortable exploring new interests and passions.
Leaders in Training (LIT) Programs at Camp
The camp environment provides a unique opportunity for youth to build leadership skills, particularly in assisting counselors with younger campers. The goals of LIT camp programs are to teach the general skills of leadership that can be used at school, home and community (not just at camp.) For younger camp leaders (ages 13-14), the curriculum includes working with younger kids at camp. Leaders-in-Training or “LITs” are the oldest campers who typically want to apply for a job at camp the next couple of summers, maybe as a Jr Counselor or some other supporting role. They need to learn more specific skills for working with kids and co-workers, and more experience planning and leading activities. The program give kids age-appropriate challenges that build their skills, confidence and capacity for working with people of all ages.
Swim, Sports & Play
The Y is the starting point for many youth to learn about becoming and staying active, and developing healthy habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. And the benefits are far greater than just physical health. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in sports at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out.
Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise and a challenging sport. Ys offer swim lessons (for all ages), family swim, competitive swimming teams, so we can all safely enjoy the pleasures of an aquatic environment.
Soccer, baseball, basketball—check out the sports offerings at your Y and get in the game. Improve your skills, make new friends, be active with other kids and learn to love a sport at the Y.
Swimming is one of the most popular national competitive sports leagues at the Y. The Y hosts state, regional and national championships annually, helping kids value hard work, reach for excellence and enjoy spirited competition.
Day and specialty camps at the Y share one thing: they’re about discovery. Kids have the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. And, of course, it’s fun too.
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. Camping teaches self-reliance, a love for nature and the outdoors, and the development of attitudes and practices that build character and leadership—all amidst the fun of developing meaningful relationships. Y counselors are dedicated to making sure camp is an amazing experience for every camper.
We have more than 130 years of experience in providing a safe, thriving environment for young people to explore personal interests, build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills, discover the creativity and health benefits of the outdoors, and make lasting friendships and memories.
Day camp can offer almost all of the benefits of traditional camp—new experiences, skill building, a sense of community and lasting friendships — in rural and urban settings while allowing campers to return home each afternoon. YMCAs across the nation offer day camps for elementary children and some have offerings for pre-schoolers and teens.
Camping is for everyone, and the Y offers specialty camps that focus on particular programming like sports specialties and other specific activities for campers.