OSKALOOSA – “Discover Your Summer,” the Mahaska County YMCA’s Summer Camp series, is going strong with increased attendance this year over last and plenty of exciting activities still to come. Kim Stutting, the Y’s new Youth Coordinator said each week so far has averaged 35 campers. She attributes the higher numbers to each week’s full schedule and keeping campers active and busy.
“We’re having a great time,” said Stutting, “discovering our community and learning from leaders in the community. And we still have several weeks of exploration and discovery left for this summer. I encourage parents and care givers to consider Camp Discovery 2016 for their children this year.”
The camp with the highest attendance so far was week five when campers toured CRI on the William Penn University Campus. “We were able to experience what it is like to be in front of a ‘green screen’ and in the control room,” said Stutting. “We were also ‘live and on air’ through the University’s radio station.”
So far “Camp Discovery 2016” activities have included touring the Oskaloosa police station, taking trail tram tours, watching a summer music festival performance, archery bow fishing, hiking and fossil digging, learning to cook outdoors, touring STAM Greenhouse and the Community Gardens with an ISU Master Gardener, visiting the Oskaloosa Lego Lab, having a visit from the Oskaloosa High Sock Monkeys (robotics club), tower building challenges, and making marshmallow shooters – just to name a few.
And they’re not done yet.
YMCA Summer Camps will run through August 19. (Camp themes and dates appear below.) Each week campers have a different theme which drives activities and exploration opportunities. “Our campers are going places they’ve never been and doing lots of new things,” Stutting explained. “I’m hearing a lot of ‘I’ve never done this before! I’ve never seen this!” and it’s so rewarding to see campers active and engaged.”
Weekly camp fees ($129/week) include local field trips, meals, snacks, before and after care. Camp activities run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before begins at 5:30 a.m., and after care runs until 6 p.m. When a week’s activities include large field trips, an additional $10 or $20 is added to the base fee. Families with more than one child will receive a 5% discount for additional campers. Payment in advance is required.
“Summer Day Camp offers youth an opportunity for growth through outdoor activities and hands-on learning,” explained Stutting. “At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That’s why we focus our work in three areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”
Remaining Camp Discovery Themes:
- Agriculture: (July 18-22) Campers will get an up close and personal look at the area’s farming community. They will also visit the Southern Iowa Fair and Living History Farm in Des Moines. An additional $20 is required for this week’s field trips.
- Pioneer Days: (July 25-29) Pioneer Days will take campers back to a simpler time. They will have the opportunity to visit the Nelson Pioneer Farm and Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge at Prairie City. An additional $10 is required for this camp week’s field trip.
- Active and Healthy: (August 1-5) Campers will be up and moving when they discover the may fun ways to stay healthy. The week’s field trips include touring the Iowa Cubs facilities and Sleepy Hollow Recreation Park in Des Moines. An additional $20 is required for this camp week’s tours.
- Community Counts: (August 8-12) Campers will discover what is in their own community and back yards.
- Amazing Animals: (August 15-19) Campers will learn how to care for creatures and be introduced to some strange specimens as their field trip will be to discover the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. An additional $20 is required for this week’s tours.