By Roderick Howard, Executive Director of YMCA Childcare Services

Do you remember your best summer ever? Did you spend time at the pool? Did you head to the local Y and play basketball? Or was your best summer the summer you discovered your favorite literary heroes and followed their adventures from the comfort of your own backyard? For most, your best summer ever was probably a combination of all of these—some exploration, activity and education.

Summer is the ideal time to get children out and explore. For parents and caregivers looking to keep their children’s minds and bodies active, the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina is offering summer camps to give youth an adventurous, active and healthy summer.

YMCA camp programs provide a fun and unique experience that gives children and teens the opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. At the Y, there is a camp program for everyone! From day camp and overnight (resident) camp to specialty and sports camps to partnerships that provide options for differently-abled or special needs kids, there is a suitable camp to meet the diverse needs of campers.

  • Overnight Camp: Overnight camps are in session from a few days to several weeks and offer a wide variety of outdoor adventures led by trained and experienced leaders that will surely offer school age children and teens an unforgettable experience. Click HERE to learn more about YMCA Camp Hanes.
  • Day Camp: Day camp can offer almost all of the benefits of traditional camp — new experiences, skill building, a sense of community and lasting friendships — while returning home each afternoon. The Y offers day camps for elementary age children, as well as teens.
  • Specialty Camps: Specialty camps focus on particular programming such as teen adventure, music, art, and sports specialties.

010There are five reasons why children and teens should attend summer camp:

  1. ADVENTURE: Summer camp is all about a wide variety of new experiences and exploring the outdoors. YMCA camps have a new adventure for every child and teen.
  1. HEALTHY FUN: Day and resident camps offer fun, stimulating activities that engage the body and mind, and also help children and teens learn the importance of nutrition to help improve their healthy eating habits.
  1. PERSONAL GROWTH: While in the welcoming environment of camp, youth are encouraged to learn new skills, and develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges. Camps offer cognitive learning and social-emotional development opportunities for achievement.
  1. FRIENDSHIPS: Amidst the fun of camp games, songs, swimming, canoeing and talent shows, campers meet new friends and strengthen existing friendships. The bonds formed at camp are important and lasting for many youth.
  1. MEMORIES: Summer camp is an unforgettable experience that will give each camper memories (and camp traditions) that will last a lifetime. Youth return to school with plenty of camp stories to share!

Now is the time to register for camp! Click HERE to learn more. Get a sneak peak of summer camp at YMCA Healthy Kids Day happening at local Ys this month! Visit for more information, including dates and locations.

At the Y, we believe that every child deserves to experience summer camp. That’s why we raise funds through our Annual Giving Campaign going on now so that children in need can receive Y scholarships for camp.

Questions? Feel free to get in touch with your local YMCA or you can reach me at 336 727 4849 or

Sponsored by the YMCA of Northwest NC