This summer, the Armed Services YMCA of San Diego sold out all of its summer camp slots, registering close to 600 children in its annual summer camp program, most of whom are the children of military service members! The children of junior enlisted military personnel, are offered low-cost summer camp opportunities, easing the financial burden and allowing more children to attend summer camp than ever before.
“We’re happy to provide camp opportunities to hundreds of military children in San Diego and thousands across the country,” said ASYMCA President, William French. “Summer camp at the ASYMCA fosters healthy friendships and adult mentoring relationships that have a positive impact on youth development.”
The ASYMCA of San Diego offers a variety of summer camp activities including Camp Hero, a day camp designed to help military children find practical and fun ways to address the challenges of military life. On June 14th, Camp Hero at the ASYMCA of San Diego kicked off its 5th year, serving 100% more children than it did in 2014! The Camp Hero experience is broken down by weekly themes filled with interactive activities, focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics), physical fitness and leadership. Camp Hero also includes weekly field trips, which are more interactive and diverse than ever before!
“Camp Hero creates a unique environment where military dependents can forget about deployments, relocations and their parent’s safety and focus on learning and having fun,” said ASYMCA San Diego Program Director, Jon Rios. “This is an extremely important experience for these kids to help build their resiliency and support their ability to adapt to a new community.”
Programs like Camp Hero give children the opportunity to meet new friends, discover new interests and keep their bodies and minds active throughout the summer. Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. The ASYMCA of San Diego seeks to combat this issue and promote healthy living through their soccer clinics, sponsored by Alexandria Realty, a local commercial real estate company. Over 200 children are scheduled to join this summer’s clinic which will kick off in late July. Participants will join a variety of week long activities including shooting, passing, defensive and dribbling drills, mini tournaments and fun outdoor activities.
While in the welcoming environment of camp at the ASYMCA of San Diego, children are also encouraged to participate in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) experiments. The ASYMCA of San Diego team has integrated STEAM into the curriculum, rotating children into STEAM activities at least 3 times per week.
"Through our partnership with STEAM Makers and the STEM Network, we have developed a menu of age appropriate activities that keep campers excited about learning and experimenting with science," said Jon Rios. "We're excited to offer a buffet of summer camp activities for children to build socially, emotionally and physically."