When Nicole Menzel and her family moved from Germany a few years ago, a neighbor told her that all the kids in the community go to the YMCA Summer Day Camp at nearby Carls Family YMCA in Milford.
“She told me the kids have a blast and I thought it sounded cool,” Menzel recalls. She registered her son Finley and daughter Avelina. This summer, they’ll be returning to YMCA summer day camp for the third year in a row.
Compared to other options, the Y’s Summer Day Camp is reasonably priced and offers a wide variety of fun activities for her kids, Menzel says. “They go on a field trip each week, go swimming, a whole mix of things,” she says.
But what Menzel says she likes most about the Y’s Summer Day Camp program is the amount of time the campers spend outside, away from video games and electronic devices.
“The fact that my kids were engaged in different activities and spending time primarily outside is so important to me,” she says. “With the Michigan winters, we spend too much time inside and I did not want my kids home during the summer watching TV and playing video games.”
In addition to fun field trips and outdoor education, all Y Summer Day Camps offer arts and crafts, group games and songs, STEM and literacy activities — plus swimming and so much more.
Each week has a different theme, which keeps kids engaged from June 12 through Aug. 25. This summer, Y campers can experience Mad Science Week, Summer Blast Off, Y-Lympics Week, Splashtopia, Wacky Water Week and a lot more.
Campers who attend Y Summer Day Camp week after week never feel like they are repeating activities because programming is always fresh. And camp is convenient for everyone because it’s held in seven locations in metro Detroit
Fun for all ages
Last summer, Menzel’s teenage nephew, Julien, visited during the summer and he attended summer camp with his cousins at the Y, making new friends he could meet in the evenings for ice cream.
Three kids of different ages all attending the same summer camp was convenient for Menzel, but because the campers are grouped by age, they all engaged in age-appropriate activities. Camper-to-counselor ratios meant that Finley in the youngest group, Avelina in the middle group and Julien in the oldest group, all had an appropriate, safe amount of supervision.
“The fact that they were all there at the same time made the camp very easy. I could drop them all off at the same time and they were there all day and it was fun for them,” Menzel says.
She was also impressed by the level of organization. “I can tell they have been doing this for a while,” she says, recalling a rainy day she thought might make camp less fun for her kids. “No, they had the kids inside and they were prepared, not just improvising. They had a whole schedule of different activities.”
Best of all, all counselors and staff are highly trained and friendly, she says. “There is always someone there to answer questions.”
Menzel’s advice to parents looking for summer fun for their kids? Get to know your local YMCA and find out what they have to offer.
“Every parent is looking for different things for their kids, whether it’s educational or fun,” she says. “The Y camp offers a balance of outside activities and a good mix to keep them occupied and interested. The counselors are fun and creative and can really relate to the kids, always making every child feel included.”
Learn more about YMCA Summer Day Camp. Visit ymcadetroit.org/camp/day-camp.