Summer camps underway at YMCA

Day and special camps focus on health, education and fitness


Young YMCA summer camper Becker Schulte probably summed up his feelings – and likely those of his previously housebound peers – by declaring: "I've been waiting my whole life for this camp."

Schulte, 5, was one of dozens of youngsters who descended on the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Y) Monday this week to participate in a wide variety of camp activities.

After cautious easing of restrictions over the past couple of weeks, the Y literally sprang back to life to the delight of kids and staffers alike.

Young campers enjoyed swim lessons, learned the basics of tennis, romped around playing catch in the Airnasium and some even took their first breaths underwater during a specialty SCUBA camp.

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Inside the Youth Development Center, masked staffers had carefully separated the campers into small groups for arts and crafts sessions, and even then had limited the number of kids per table.

The extra caution was, of course, in line with recommendations by Gov. Ron DeSantis when he announced the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions.

Inside the Youth Development Center, our camper Schulte enjoyed cutting out some paper shapes and decorating them with colored paper strips.

"They tell me to do something, I can do it," said Schulte, who was an early hit with staffers because of his cool, calm and collected demeanor.

Over at the pool, which was more than welcome on a hot day following storm Cristobal clearing out of the area, coach Kamal Farhat put swimmers through their paces.

Close by, ScubaMarco instructor John Blake introduced a group of young campers to the joy of breathing underwater, while coach Roberto Saad introduced a large group of campers to the joys of tennis.

Dubbed "The Best Summer Ever" camp, it runs through Aug. 10 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays. Cost is $85 a week for members and $95 a week for non-members.

The camp focuses on fun and education, and components are math and literacy, pool activities, sports, community projects, leadership activities and nutrition and fitness awareness. It also includes a breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks.

Upcoming specialty camps include soccer, tennis, volleyball, SCUBA, pickle ball and gymnastics.

Full details are available at marcoymca.org.

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For more on the Y's wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at ymcamarco.