Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Treks, trips are treats at YMCA camps

Themed weeks keep kids busy

Express Staff Writer

    Wood River YMCA program director Emilie Wark and her staff are gearing up for a busy summer of themed weeks and outdoor adventures to keep kids ages 5-11 busy in the 2014 Y Summer Day Camp.
    In her third year as program director, Wark recognizes that the summer camp that runs from June 9-Aug. 29 is serving a purpose in the community.
    Wark said, “Our camp is really creative. Our staff is always coming up with new games and little treks and adventures to keep the kids busy.
    “The YMCA values of respect, honesty, responsibility and caring are the focuses of our camp. We teach these through community service learning, socialization, group projects and camp fun.”
    The kids can attend the camp each day from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most kids are picked up by their parents around 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. each day. Swimming occurs three times per week and is a big part of the camp.
    The first week of camp is called “Summer Start Up” from June 9-13. Final week of the 12-week program is Aug. 25-29.
    Special features are Thursday field trips and “Friday Night Live” slide shows that incorporate music with photographs of the kids doing their activities during camp week.
    Among field trip highlights:
    Animal Safari June 16-20; Pirate Paradise July 14-18; Epic Olympics July 28-Aug. 1; Atlantis from Aug. 4-8; Outdoor Adventures Aug. 11-15 (swimming at Camp Perkins); and Green Planet Week Aug. 18-22.
    Early-bird rates paid by May 15 are $180 per week for Y members and $290 non-members. Day rates are $55 members, $80 non-members.
    Holiday Hooplah theme week from June 30-July 3 is one day shorter than the usual five-day camps, so rates are $160 members, $235 non-members.
    Besides the Summer Day Camp at the Y, Wark said, “We are offering climbing camps again, and this year we are also offering swim lessons.”
    She added, “Kids build self-confidence, take on new challenges and have fun learning the ropes. They receive specialized instruction to help the kids build upon what they learn.”
    Beginning June 23 and continuing through Aug. 29, the climbing is divided into ages 5-8 (Rock Star No. 1) from 9:30-11:30 a.m., and ages 9-11 (Rock Star No. 2) from 1-3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
    For more details and registration forms, visit or call Wark directly at 928-6718. She can also be reached at

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