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YMCA and BGCSC Summer Camp Partnership

Summer Camp, like many YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs programs, support healthy youth development through learning skills, developing character, and making friends. Few environments are as special as camp. Kids come together creating community as they learn how to be more independent, contribute to a group, and engage in physical, social, and educational activities. The magic of camp creates memories that last a lifetime.

With the closure of schools across Washington State due to the COVID Crisis, children have been separated from friends and denied interactions that would traditionally happen in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. Additionally, thousands of families are experiencing significant stress from health concerns and financial challenges. Snohomish County youth and families rely on the Y and Boys & Girls Clubs to provide much needed care and support. To meet the community needs, the YMCA of Snohomish County and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County have partnered to integrate youth and family mental health into their 2020 Summer Camp curriculums with funding provided by the Community Foundation of Snohomish County.

Summer Camp will look a little different this year, but the commitment both organizations have remains the same. This year, the Y and BGCSC will share the services of the 10 youth and family mental health counselors hired to support our summer programs. The Y and BGCSC program locations are in relatively close proximity and often serve children and families from neighboring communities. To ensure all families have access to supportive mental health programs, the two largest providers of summer child care will share the services of the trained professionals.

The mental health counselor, skilled in Trauma Informed Care and Social/Emotional Learning, will train Y and BGCSC camp staff ensuring they have the fundamental tools needed to successfully support our county’s children prior to the first day of camp. Throughout the summer, the mental health counselors will have weekly check-ins with the camp sites and work on proactive behavior management structures. They will model best practices in mental health for Y and BGCSC camp counselors and work one on one with campers who need extra or specialized support throughout the session. Combined, the Y and BGCSC look to serve 1,500 campers this year.

“Families can count on the same safe, high quality, fun-filled programs that many come to expect from the Y,” said Patsy Cudaback, YMCA Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. “And through the partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs, Snohomish County will have two youth development organizations creating opportunities for our community to thrive.”

If you would like to support all children and families in our community having equitable access to quality summer child care through the Y’s and BGCSC’s camp programs, please make a charitable donation here on our website by clicking the donate now button in the top right corner.