The Louisville YMCA association is filling a gap in its community by providing summer youth engagement activities. Plus, additional summer program ideas from across the U.S.
To improve summer youth engagement and community outreach, the YMCA of Greater Louisville is offering full family memberships to the Republic Bank Foundation YMCA location from June 1 to August 31, 2023.
The passes are available for people who live in Louisville’s District 1 in zip codes 40210, 40211, 40212 and 40216. Blair Downs, the Y’s director of marketing and communications, said the opportunity is in response to the local Algonquin community pool being closed this summer for a major renovation.
“The Y is thrilled to be part of this partnership,” said Downs. “It’s our mission to be part of the community we serve and to be there when they need us. These passes will provide full access to the Republic Bank Foundation YMCA and includes an indoor pool with a waterslide, sauna, wellness floor, group fitness classes, indoor track, Best Buy Teen Tech Center, kids’ club and basketball court.”
The Louisville Metro Council voted to spend $6 million to renovate Algonquin Pool and other local parks. Downs said losing access to the pool this summer impacts many families, so Mayor Craig Greenberg and Metro government partnered with the Y, Kentucky Kingdom and Transit Authority of River City (TARC) to offer free summer memberships to families who would have used the pool. The city is purchasing these passes and will distribute to eligible families in the coming weeks.
An estimated 200 family memberships will be offered to the Y, and TARC will offer free bus rides to children and their companions for the summer.
Advice and Other Summer Youth Engagement Ideas
Downs said there are many activities for youth at the Y during the summer such as Summer Day Camp, which is in full swing for ages 5-12. Older youth can participate in Youth Fitness Fundamentals, a course to teach teens how to use the cardiovascular machines and selected strength machines in the Y’s Wellness Center.
“Y Love Notes is offering a Teen Vibe Summer Camp July 10-14 at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center,” said Downs. “Teens will learn the skills needed to make wise choices about relationships, sexuality, partnering and more. In the afternoon, the camp will utilize the Teen Tech Center to explore the themes of healthy relationships. Also, if families are looking for adventure, then the YMCA Family Mud Run is the place to be. This two-day event on July 28 and 29 at the Oldham County Family YMCA includes running around the 1.5-mile course filled with mud and obstacles.”
Downs said to end the summer, Republic Bank Foundation YMCA and Chestnut Street Family YMCA will host back to school bashes for local youth as well.
Furthermore, here is a look at a few other summer youth engagement activities from rec centers around the country:
YMCA of Orange County’s Ranch Camp
As part of the YMCA of Orange County’s Ranch Camp, children can visit Cow Camp at Rancho Mission Viejo in south Orange County, California. There, they can learn about agriculture, including resources, sustainability and where their food is grown.
They will harvest fresh fruits and vegetables, meet chickens, dig into worm composting, and learn the way of the cowboy and the region’s early ranch families. Rancho Mission Viejo also offers other Y activities like adult fitness, youth sports programs, date nights and more.
JCC of Greater Pittsburgh’s Food Service Program
While exciting offerings are important to summer youth engagement, so is making sure all children have something to eat while out of school. Moreover, that’s why the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh is participating in the Summer Food Service Program from June 19 to August 18.
During that period, kosher meals will be provided to all children, ages 18 and under, without charge. Kids are also welcome to stay for arts and crafts activities before lunch, which begins at 11 a.m. Snacks will also be provided from 2 to 3 p.m.
YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Beacons Reset
From June 20 to August 10, the YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge is launching Beacons Reset — a free program for middle school students. The Beacon Initiative program is designed to build foundational skills and competencies students need to graduate from high school, succeed in their chosen careers and give back to the community.
On Tuesdays at YMCA Express at Gainsboro, participants will be involved in cooking classes, gardening, fitness programs, science museum events and college field trips. Then, during Thursdays at the Kirk Family YMCA, attendees will be exposed to Y amenities such as swimming, gym time, Group Exercise classes and more. A meal will also be provided for participants on both days.
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