[caption id="attachment_37910" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Blair Yungblut and Graham Morton carry the banner advertising the Y summer camps."][/caption]
On Friday (June 24) the downtown core was invaded by a mob. It wasn’t just any mob; it was London’s first ever cheer mob sponsored by the YMCA.
There were 18 enthusiastic YMCA day camp employees who set out to promote the start of the Y day camps. With the summer break from school right around the corner it was a timely event that helped to generate excitement for the start of summer camp. Camps are set to begin on July 4 at seven London and area locations.
The misty rain and cool temperatures didn’t stop the cheerfulness of the camp staff. Other than the raincoats they were dressed in, you wouldn’t have known the weather wasn’t co-operating.
“The YMCA camp staff are a resilient bunch, it may have rained on our parade, but it didn’t dampen our spirits,” says Chris Wick, manager of Day Camps for YMCA of Western Ontario.
The mob began their tour at the downtown Y branch on Central Street and made a stop at the Covent Garden Market before heading to the Central Library. Pedestrians and spectators along the route were eager to join in on the fun.
“There were several people along our route that joined in on our camp songs or were dancing while waiting at a stop light. I believe our enthusiasm was certainly infectious,” says Wick.
Thousands of London and area children attend the Y camps each summer. The highlights of the camp activities range from canoeing and kayaking to hip-hop dance and yoga. Camp locations include the Fanshawe Conservation Area, Spencer Lodge and the Bob Hayward YMCA.
The Y camps are based on a framework developed by the American YMCA that covers 40 developmental assets for young children. This structure is the most widely used approach to positive youth development in the United States and is designed to help influence the choices young people make. The London Y camps cover 29 of the 40 assets including self-esteem, conflict resolution and constructive use of time.
Visit the YMCAWO site for more information on the Y summer camp programs.