The Plant City Family YMCA’s newly “enhanced” summer camp puts more emphasis on team building and leadership, but still brings plenty of fun and learning to the table.
The Plant City Family YMCA has never hosted a summer camp quite like what’s coming to its facility next month.
Along with the other locations in the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA network, Plant City’s Y has made tweaks to its traditional summer camp formula to make the experience better for both the campers and their families. Registrations for the 10-week camp, which begins June 3, are now open online and the Plant City staff encourages members and non-members alike to check it out.
“We want to ensure kids stay engaged socially and academically this summer, so our day camp curriculum is designed to do just that,” camp director Elizabeth Patton said.
For the kids, fun and education go hand-in-hand when it comes to planned activities. Campers will learn STEM topics, learn to make arts and crafts and work on leadership and team-building skills while playing games, participating in sports, swimming and more. Each YMCA in the Tampa Metropolitan network is introducing “activity specialists” to focus on specific parts of its curriculum, and Plant City’s specialists are staff members Ally Kummelman (science, arts and crafts) and Angel Aguilar (sports, team building).
Mondays are heavily focused on team building lessons and exercises with some carry-over through the rest of the week. Campers will be taught the importance of the YMCA’s four core values: caring, honesty, respect and accountability.
“We’re starting strong with those core values and keeping that going throughout the week,” Patton said.
Its LIT (Leaders in Training) specialty camp will be available for rising seventh and eighth graders in weeks three, six and nine. This camp includes leadership, development and mentoring opportunities within the Y, guest speakers and more.
The Plant City YMCA is getting new equipment in time for the camp, which will let kids play frisbee golf and cornhole, climb on new structures, tackle a ropes course and more.
Swimming schedules have changed so that campers now participate in mid-morning pool sessions, thus avoiding the typical afternoon thunderstorms of the summer. Campers who are signed up for the Y’s new pre-camp care feature can also get an early-morning swim lesson in before joining the campers in regular hours.
Each day of camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and pre-camp care begins at 7 a.m. Hillsborough County Public Schools will provide all campers with free breakfast and lunch as part of its summer food program, which the Plant City YMCA has also opened to anyone 18 and under in the community regardless of YMCA membership status. The base cost for members is $119 per camper and $169 per camper for non-members, and the pre-camp swim lessons are available for an additional $40 per camper in both cases. Registration ends at 11:59 p.m. May 27.
To register online and access a hub of information, visit tampaymca.org/letscamp and choose the Plant City location.