YMCA Summer Camp News Post

Published: 02/13/2023 - 8:00 AM

Written by: Nicole Flynn, Association Summer Day Camp Director

There is nothing more precious to you than your child. Choosing the right camp to enroll them in for the summer can be tough.

As the region’s largest provider of camp and child care, we’ve learned a few things about what parents want, what kids need, and how to meet everybody’s expectations. Here’s some things to think about when choosing the right local summer camp where your kids work on their social skills and have fun.

How close is camp to you?

One of the most important factors is choosing a camp that’s close to you! With your busy schedule, drop-off and pick-up need to be a breeze, as much for your kids as for you. You also want to make sure you can get to camp easily on the off-chance your kid needs to call it an early day.

The Y offers more than 30 locations to choose from across the Greater Philadelphia region, both at our branches and at off-sites you can easily get to. So whether you’re coming from home or the office, getting here is a snap.

If you are looking for a YMCA summer camp near you, check out our summer day camp page!

Can you confirm the summer camp is accredited?

Camp quality is, well, all over the place. Don’t rely on a glossy brochure to judge. Look for accreditation and ratings from standard-bearers. We are American Camp Association Accredited, which means we follow the latest and greatest safety and camp quality standards in the US. When we level up our safety and fun, we do it right.

That includes our curriculum, which is set to challenge your child with new experiences, getting out of their comfort zone to build their confidence in a safe environment. Whether it’s an art project, a science experiment, a magic trick or speaking skills, we encourage campers to grow through personal experience.

YMCA Summer Camp - Safety

Is safety the top priority?

Camps are busy, active places. That’s a good thing. It also raises the occasional concern for safety. So, staff training, expertise and maturity matters. A lot. When you’re shopping for a camp, don’t be afraid to ask about their safety record, the average age of counselors, what their training is like and more.

At the Y, we’re 100% committed to Child Safety – from our CEO down to part-time team members. Our Camp Team starts every season with 40 hours of training, including CPR & first aid, supervision, communication, risk management and more. Our Camp Team is exclusively 18 and older. And every Y staffer, regardless of position, is background-checked for an added layer of protection. All this care allows us to focus on helping your child thrive.

Is it an inclusive camp? Will my kids be social?

You know what makes our staff twitch? Kids on phones, ignoring one another, and not relating. (Ugh.) And, unfortunately, some camp providers let it happen.

We think camp is a great time to encourage kids to build social skills the right way. So, we foster an inclusive environment, where kids from every background learn to celebrate differences, and treat each other with our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Caring. Nothing makes us prouder than when parents say they see a notable difference in their kid and how they relate to others. It happens every summer, and it never gets old. (Yay!)

YMCA Summer Camp - Social

Do they offer you flexibility?

Most camps operate on a type of blocked schedule; often monthly or bi-weekly. Operationally, this works great for scheduling activities and staff. But it’s not always family-friendly. After all, it’s summer. You might want to head down the Shore. You may send the kids off to Grandma’s for a bit. Your office schedule may be lighter, allowing you to spend some time with them.

Frankly, this also might cost you extra money. Without flexible scheduling, you’ll find yourself paying for time your child can’t use.

At the Y, we’re based on weekly enrollments, allowing you to choose just the weeks of time you need. And since each week is a new enrollment, your child can come and go FOMO-free. Our team will help them pick up right where they left off, and they’ll be able to pick up their friendships without missing a beat.

Will you be nickel-and-dimed?

We know: Camp isn’t cheap. You understand a quality experience costs some money. But it shouldn’t come with surprise fees at every turn.

Ask your prospective provider what’s included. Transportation? Ticket costs? Supplies for arts and crafts? These extra costs can rack up quickly if you’re not prepared for them.

At the Y, we estimate our costs going in, so your price is all-inclusive, on top of being competitively-priced. We keep YMCA summer camp affordable because we respect that your investment is sometimes a sacrifice, so we want to simplify it wherever we can. Plus, our prices are transparent and listed directly on our website!

YMCA Summer Camp - Local

Plan for summer today!

We are excited to provide an amazing experience every day at YMCA Summer Camp to the thousands of local children we serve in the greater Philadelphia region. Why not make your child one of them? Visit our camp page to learn more and book their summer camp experience now. Or come on in and talk to one of our team members to see what we have to offer in person. We can’t wait to meet you!


About the Author
Nicole Flynn

Nicole Flynn

Association Day Camp Leader

Nicole has been working in Youth Development since 2007. She has a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Temple University. As a Camp Director, she programmed specialty camps including culinary, sports, science, and more into the Y's traditional camp experience. She is passionate about developing young counselors into amazing leaders and leaving a positive impact on the children she serves. In her role supporting all of the Greater Philadelphia YMCA camps, she has trained camp leaders and opened new camp locations to ensure all children have access to an affordable and fun camp.