Longer summer means more chance for YMCA campers to get outside

Many parents are walking tightropes, trying to balance work and daycare now that the COVID-19 pandemic has lengthened summer breaks, but some parents can breathe a sigh of relief. The YMCA is extending its camps to cover the extra weeks. 

One location, Camp Cristina, offers all sorts of activities for children and is staying open two more weeks, allowing the kids to literally walk the ropes while their parents work.

The camp has had to make some changes to accommodate the pandemic guidelines. But, so far, everything has been working out.

They have smaller groups that travel together all day, social distance, and wear masks while inside.

The camp services director says it’s important to give children a chance to have adventures, especially now. 

“What’s really important for campers, learning new things and social skills...  it’s very important that campers have the ability and the liberty to go and socialize with others,” Meagan Springer explained. “We do traditional camp activities. We do canoeing, kayaking, rock wall, zip line; everything you could pretty much imagine under the sun. It’s a lot of difference in confidence, self-efficacy, social skills, learning how to approach somebody, making new friends, trying something new.” 

Camper Tristen Kennington says the activities have made a huge difference for him.

“When COVID happened, I was stuck inside. I couldn’t go anywhere, but once I got to camp, I got outside. I just enjoyed it. It’s so much fun.”

After the summer is over, Camp Cristina will be open for aftercare, as well.  

For more information on Camp Cristina visit their website at www.tampaymca.org/locations/ymca-camp-cristina.