• 77°

Holiday camp at YMCA brings fun and learning

Backward scooter races, nature walks, plays, and arts and crafts. All these activities and more have been a part of the Holiday Camp at the Greenville YMCA.

“It’s just been a great experience. The kids have stayed busy and they’ve had fun during their school break,” said Y director Amanda Phillips. “We’ve had parents say, ‘I don’t know what all you do with the children, but they sure sleep well at night.'”

Brenetta Averett, Wilshad Smith and Je’lisa Bailey worked with the 12 youngsters, who ranged in ages from 6 to 12.

“We offered the children a variety of activities during the camp, including a sports tourney, for which they earned awards, certificates and even gold medals – they were really proud of those,” Averett said with a smile.

The campers also participated in a number of arts and crafts activities, one a follow-up to a nature walk.

“As part of our Keeping Healthy Program, we enjoyed an outdoor walk together. The children collected all sorts of natural things along the way and we came back and made nature collages. We also did rice art,” said Averett, as she shared some of the children’s artwork.

In addition, the campers put on two plays for their families and friends: “Tuesday Night Football” with the boys, and “Tuesday Night Slumber Party” with the girls.

In addition to all the fun and games, Averett said, the youngsters have been learning some valuable lessons.

“The kids have learned the importance of good sportsmanship, teamwork and cooperation during our camp,” she said.

The fun and learning will continue even after school is back in session, Averett said.

“We have a wonderful after school program for children kindergarten and up. There are new activities planned for 2009, including a ‘Parents’ Night Out.’ We want to show our appreciation for the parents for letting their kids participate, and we will offer them refreshments and a chance to tour the facility and see all that we have to offer, while we look after the children,” Averett said.

Along with fun and games, the after school program will again offer homework assistance. “Whether it’s math or spelling or science, we are ready to help the children with any subject areas,” Averett said. “We invite parents to some and see just what we can offer their children.”

To learn more about the YMCA after school programs, stop by the Greenville YMCA or call 382-0550.