The work of the Y stretches far beyond the walls of our fitness pools and gyms and dives directly into communities throughout Burlington and Camden Counties. We take pride in meeting the community where they are and providing programming based on their needs. We have established strategic partnerships with schools, policymakers, residents, and other community stakeholders to create programs and policies that support healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. Through the efforts of our Youth Intervention, Teen Leadership, and Community Youth Programs departments, we have created opportunities for Camden youth to grow and thrive.
Interested in joining one of our programs, bringing a program to your community, or supporting our programs through volunteer work or donations?
Get in touch with our Youth Community Programs team today!
Soccer for Success®
Soccer for Success® is a free after-school program that is proven to help kids establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills through caring coach-mentors and family engagement. The YMCA in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Campbell’s Soup Company, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey has provided Soccer for Success® in Camden City for almost a decade with over 2,000 kids participating in the after-school based program.
Through this program, we work with school officials, parents, and our communities to create a safe environment where kids can be active, engage with coach mentors, learn about nutrition, and more.
Special thanks to our partners!
Watershed Education by Bike
Kids aged 11 to 14 participate in riding and learning events designed to teach them how different factors affect the watershed and ecosystem, and consequently, their own lives. In the summer, the program transforms into a day camp, with rides increasing in length from their after-school counterparts.
Purposeful trails and destinations in Camden County are ridden to in a group and environmental learning continues off the bike at those destinations. Environmental resources along the Cooper River, as well as from Camden County Open Space programs will help provide a more structured environmental education to the youth.
This program seeks to create concrete associations between communities and the waterways among them. By using trails along the greenways that are part of the watershed, this program gives access to waterways, from which a greater understanding of the effects we have on the water can be understood.
WEB Sustainability Youth Council
Our Watershed Education by Bike (WEB) program offers a Sustainability Youth Advisory Council for middle and high school students from the Greater Philadelphia area who are passionate and excited to work together to oversee and implement changes in their communities, design service projects, and educate others relating to environmental sustainability.
As a part of the Sustainability Youth Advisory Council, students meet virtually and in-person to participate in bike rides, learn about water testing and aquatic animals, and complete service projects, like installing rain barrels and building rain gardens.
Safe Places to Play
The YMCA Safe Places to Play program staffs several parks with trained counselors who keep youth engaged, safe, and active after school and throughout the summer with structured activities and sports.
Grant funding currently allows the Y to continue to lead the charge in ‘taking back’ the public parks in the City of Camden by offering this great program at no-cost to Camden residents. Children have access to fun playground equipment, as well as group games and sports led by Y staff.
This ground-breaking community initiative is possible because of partnerships and generous funding including: JAWS Youth Playbook, Kresge Foundation partner Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit partner, Camden Lutheran Housing, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation partner St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, and the City of Camden.
Current Safe Places
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Ralf Williams Park Memorial Park
Howell and N28th Street
Dudley Grange Park
3101 Federal Street
404 Dudley Street
600 Elm Street
Point Street Park
61 York Street
Pyne Poynt Park
1068 N. 7th Street
Liberty Park Camden
Judge Robert Johnson Park (The Pink Elephant)
1600 S. 8th Street