Camp Better Together - A Huge Success
YMCA Summer Camp Brought Smiles, Laughter, and Joy
Camp Better Together has wrapped, and I am so incredibly honored to have been a leader on the team that made it happen. This was my 7th summer at the Whatcom Family YMCA and never in my camp experience have we had a summer with such innovative, caring, and thoughtful staff. Running a camp during a global pandemic is no easy task. With social distancing and mask requirements and no field trips to take kids on, our staff had to provide more creative programming than ever. Yet, they managed to turn the gym into a beautiful clubhouse by simply utilizing cardboard, created a community, and made all of our campers feel like they belong.
Between Carl Cozier Elementary, Cordata Elementary, and our Middle School Challengers programs, we served 130 campers with a team of 37 staff and 11 middle school/high school volunteer junior counselors.
Our goals of Camp Better Together were to create a safe environment to encourage continued learning and curiosity, practice social emotional skills, and foster community. I can wholeheartedly say we did all of those and more.
In a world full of unknowns, I am proud knowing the childcare team at the Whatcom Family YMCA can provide fun, safe, and positive programs regardless of the obstacles. We have been here for our community, and we will continue to be here on the other side of this pandemic.
— Hope Thompson, Camp Site Director
“We have had a great experience with YMCA Better Together camp. I was nervous about sending a six year-old to a socially distant, mask-wearing situation, but he loved it from the first day. They did a great job of working within some difficult parameters to keep everyone safe and keep the programming exciting for the kids. Our son especially enjoyed the weekly themes and slip and slide days. The themes gave us a good way to connect with him about what was happening and an opportunity to explore some material at home that related to camp.”
“Our six-year-old daughter loved Better Together camp this summer. She really needed social interaction and just more action than we had energy to provide. BT camp was awesome and really brightened her summer.“
"We feel so grateful to the YMCA for offering camp this year! It was a Godsend after months of home-schooling and isolation. Our son was especially appreciative of his 'value awards', he came home so proud to show them to us. He loved the nature walks too, and was introduced to some new music, his new favorite is 'Come Together' by The Beatles. He also made some new friends and was excited to lend his books to his new friends for reading time. A great summer for our son under very difficult circumstances. Thank you for keeping our kids safe, active, and entertained all summer!"
"In their own words, my kids 'super loved' the YMCA camp they attended this summer! They came home with happy hearts, minds, and bodies each day from all the fun and enrichment. As a parent, I felt reassured by the safety protocols the YMCA staff were consistently practicing, and I could tell that the "whole-child" mindset was well integrated into the counselors' approach. It was definitely a win-win!"