From the April 2018 issue

Unplug This Summer at YMCA Camp Copneconic

Kids ages 4-plus enjoy day and overnight options at this camp, which is located in Fenton and offers a traditional camp experience.

Brought to you by YMCA Camp Copneconic

Whether your child wants to attend a day camp or is looking for an overnight option, YMCA Camp Copneconic, located in Fenton, offers for both for kids as young as 4 years old. Brandon Dreffs, the camp’s associate executive director, says the camp brings kids a traditional camp setting and a way to unplug from the stresses of everyday life.

“Our day camps start at age 4 and go all the way through those entering eighth grade. The traditional overnight camps start at kids entering fourth grade through those entering their senior year of high school,” Dreffs says.

The camp has plenty of traditional activities including swimming in a lake, boating, archery, fishing, and arts and crafts. The programs are age-progressive so kids who return summer after summer have different options to look forward to, Dreffs says.

Day camp runs from Monday through Friday, while the overnight camp is six days and five nights. Families can choose to sign up for one session or multiple throughout the summer. Dreffs says many campers come for back-to-back sessions at the day camp.

“For those who are new to day camp or the overnight experience, we have a summer camp open house on Sunday, May 20, from 2 to 5 p.m.” Dreff says. “The open house is free to attend and it’s a great chance for the campers and their parents to see the camp before they sign up for summer.”

Here, camp families can meet the directors, tour housing, participate in activities and familiarize themselves with camp so nothing is a surprise when they arrive.

The staff, he says, is trained to help all of the campers – day and overnight – feel comfortable in their environment.

“One of the things we focus on is creating friendships. Our camp counselor training focuses very heavily on how to create the connections within the cabins and the camp group, because that’s where the importance lies,” Dreffs says.

At Camp Copneconic, kids have a well-rounded experience where they have the opportunity to choose activities, too.

“Campers have some activities that are set for them by cabin. If they have activities that they enjoy, they can go back and sign up for that. Those choices change every day so they get a variety of activities. It’s not a cookie cutter program. It’s important that kids get a chance to pick their activities,” Dreffs says.

However, there is one decision campers don’t get to make.

“We don’t allow electronics at camp. Kids don’t even have cell phones at camp. We want them to unplug and connect. We want them to unplug from social media while they are here and connect with the other kids and counselors at camp,” Dreffs says. For many kids, it can be freeing to let go of that stress that comes with keeping up with their friends in the digital world.

Campers stay busy each day, he adds. There is little downtime for either the day campers or the overnight campers.

“We provide a safe location where kids are challenged to try new activities and push their comfort zones while under the watchful eye of our camp staff, Dreffs says.

The day camp runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but there are early care and after care hours for parents who work.

For more information on the camp offerings, call 810-629-9622 or visit campcopneconic.org.

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