By: Katie Sobiech
Did you know that the Akron Area YMCA has a variety of camp choices that they offer, year-round? It’s all up to the parent and child as to what they choose, and the opportunities are endless…
“Campers embark upon a learning adventure in a secure environment and bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood,” Doreen Vanchoff, Director of Marketing and Communications for the YMCA, said of their camps.
Along with having fun, kids grow in character as well.
“The biggest thing that I think camp does for kids is give them a safe place to start growing in their independence. For many of our kids it’s the first time that they are dealing with a lot of the day-to-day life decisions from how to take care of themselves, to how to make friends, away from the supervision of family or parents, but still in a safe environment under the supervision of our staff,” Michael Landry, Summer Camp and Family Services Director of Camp Y-Noah, said.
“That’s one of the biggest comments we get from our parents after they pick their kids up – (They see) the growth, independence and self-confidence their kids have gotten – whether it’s for a week of day camp or they’ve been there the whole summer,” Landry continued.
And another bonus: you do not need to be a Y member to utilize their services.
“We are here to provide the best experience we can to everyone!” Vanchoff said.
Different Types of Camps
The Akron Area YMCA is proud to provide Northeast Ohio with Resident Camp, Summer Day Camps, Outdoor Education, Equestrian Programs, Teambuilding and premier camping year-round at YMCA Camp Y-Noah and the Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs.
YMCA Camp Y-Noah is a traditional camp for children ages 6 through 17.
“We have been in existence for 83 years and are a gem in the City of Green. We are 15 minutes from Akron and Canton, but still far enough removed to give a feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere,” Vanchoff said.
The Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs, in cooperation with the Akron Area YMCA, offers children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to experience all the friendship, fun and excitement of camp.
Akron Rotary Camp is American Camp Association (ACA) accredited and provides a nurturing and enriching atmosphere where campers develop relationships, skills and memories that will last a lifetime.
“The camp was founded to meet the needs of children with disabilities and their families,” Vanchoff said.
While at camp children are able to participate in activities that help build self-esteem and physical endurance.
Other Opportunities to Get Involved
Camp Y-Noah also offers riding lessons year-round, and family camps, two times a year – on Memorial Day and Labor Day. “We offer schools a chance to do Outdoor Education and engage in teambuilding, which is available for 6th graders all the way up to college,” Vanchoff said.
They also offer program scholarships for families who may qualify for financial assistance.
Businesses and Organizations
“Camp also offers excellent corporate team building sessions for businesses and organizations that seek team building programming for their staff,” Vanchoff shared.
They offer corporate retreats and conference space for groups as large as 200 people.
Whether you are a child, or adult, there are many different ways to get involved with the YMCA.
And so far, the summer is off to a great start…
“Camp has been really fun so far. Everyone’s here to make the kids summer worthwhile. I’m really excited about the summer,” Taylor Ellis, Girls Village Director, said.