As the snow seems to continue to find a way to cover the grass on occasion, there are many who are setting eyes on Spring Break....and a few who can't wait till the big one, Summer Vacation!! Of course, Summer Vacation seems a lot sweeter when you are of a certain age that allows sleeping in, staying up late and hopefully a week or two at one of our areas most honored traditions.....Camp Pendalouan. 2023 is a remarkable year for the camp by the way, celebrating it's 100th Anniversary!
As the Muskegon YMCA gears up for a summer of fun and education with kids, there's great news that's come from the Department of Education in the State of Michigan. The Muskegon Y received a portion of a grant from the State amounting to $146,000 to support children, families, and schools while they recover from the pandemic and prepare for a successful return to the school year. That is a HUGE boon to the incredible work that already goes on at the camp and allows for expanded programs, some more help and increased amounts of campers.
From their press release - “The Y is prepared to work with schools to overcome the challenges facing students, families and communities,” says Fran Talsma, Executive Director for the Michigan Alliance of YMCAs “To effectively combat COVID learning loss, in- and out-of-school learning needs to be connected and seamless. We have the capacity and expertise to support schools and help achieve positive outcomes for students. The Y is ready to meet the academic, social-emotional, physical, and nutritional needs of children and is committed to strong collaborations to improve the academic success and overall well-being of children.”
As always, the Ys summer programs will focus on FUN, keeping kids safe, active, fed, and engaged with other children and adults. The support from the Michigan Department of Education allows Ys to offer traditional camp programs that are enhanced to address the unique academic needs created by the pandemic." CLICK HERE TO GET MORE INFO OR REGISTER YOUR KIDS
Gabrielle Gerlach is the CEO of the Muskegon YMCA. Her story of "getting here" is amazing including her time at Disney getting prepared for her role in childhood development. We met up at a very busy Y Headquarters on Third Street in Muskegon to welcome her to her new position and learn a little more about this upcoming season and this amazing grant, take a listen.
I have shared my experience with a YMCA Camp in the past. I had one summer at Camp Optimist when I was 21 and it was perfect. I was a camp counsellor and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I highly recommend this for any young person and there are still some opportunities for you if you are LOOKING FOR WORK in a camp setting. You will love it. One of the best things here too, the abundance of opportunity for kids who might still be behind a little from the pandemic. Learning opportunities, socialization in a setting away from all of today's distractions, plenty of good camp grub to keep them fed and MEMORIES that will last a lifetime. Trust me on that one. They will never forget their time at Camp Pendalouan and you will have the knowledge and satisfaction that you slipped in a little learning when they least expected it.