Summer camp is more than splash pads and sing-alongs. While there are many options for parents today, the Tampa Y summer day camps provide parents with peace of mind while their children enjoy fun, friends and adventure.
At the Tampa YMCA, our American Camp Association (ACA)-Accredited summer day camps provide options that meet the needs of every child’s personality, physical ability and interests.
Being an ACA-Accredited camp means the Tampa Y camps undergo a thorough review of our operations, from staff qualifications and training to emergency management, while aligning the Y curriculum with the highest standard in the industry.
Michelle Leahy, associate program director at Campo Family YMCA, is entering her second summer as camp director for the Campo Family YMCA, but began her Y journey five years ago when she accepted her first role as a camp counselor at YMCA Camp Cristina.
“Child and youth development is the backbone of our planning here at the Campo Family YMCA,” Leahy says. “Building a safe yet fun and creative environment that fosters an effective week for children of all ages pushes me to be the best I can be. My main goal is to make a difference in people’s lives and help others. If I can effectively accomplish that by running an outstanding summer camp program, I have done my job.”
Along with an additional 11 summer camp directors, Leahy is dedicated to ensuring each child has the opportunity to try something new while building character and friendships based on the Y Core Values: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
“My favorite part of camp is engaging with all the kids,” she says. “There is nothing better than walking into the courtyard and having all the campers rush to have me play a game of gaga with them.”
Gaga ball, a variant of dodgeball played in a gaga “pit, is a Y summer camp favorite. The game combines dodging, striking, running and jumping with the objective of being the last person standing.
Each Tampa Y summer day camp offers a variety of fun activities for campers to engage in each day, including:
- Arts and crafts
- Indoor and outdoor games
- Nature education
- Science experiments
Additionally, each camp offers specialized “Adventure Camps” for campers to opt into. Adventure camp activities vary by price and location and include:
- Adaptive camps
- Arts and crafts
- High Adventure/Outpost
- Horse Camp
- Strength and conditioning
- Sports camp
Leahy plans to incorporate Kona Ice Thursdays into the summer camp schedule at Campo summer day camp as she did last year. She also hopes to include two special guest demonstrations and safety lessons from the fire and police departments.
“We are proud to offer a safe and supportive space for your child to learn, grow and thrive,” Leahy says. “The Y has many great camps that allow your child to have a blast while learning critical skills and values. What else could you ask for?”
Register your child at one of our 12 YMCA summer day camps and review our 2023 Summer Camp Parent Handbook by visiting tampaymca.org.
*Presented by the YMCA | Originally published in March 2023 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.