Lauderhill YMCA hosts Summer Day Camp Association Board Meeting
Lauderhill YMCA hosts Summer Day Camp Association Board Meeting
Adele Trizzino, YMCA Director Youth Development Director, with her little campers.
By Charles Moseley
Summertime is a time for kids to enjoy a little fun in the sun and do all the things they like to do. The YMCA of Broward County offers thousands of kids a safe place to do just that while also instilling in them some tips on healthy living which they can practice for a lifetime.
The Lauderhill YMCA recently played host to the YMCA of Broward County’s Summer Day Camp Association Board Meeting on June 26 at Lauder-hill Middle School.
The event featured YMCA Board members, local elected officials, volunteers and of course campers from area YMCA locations throughout Broward County.
Sheryl Woods, president /CEO of the YMCA of Broward, explained the purpose of the event.
“Every month we have an Association Board of Director’s Meeting, our governing board for the YMCA. What we did in lieu of sitting around a boring table this month was to bring the meeting out to one of our local sites and give all of our volunteers and board members from across the association an opportunity to see what happens in the life of a camper.”
The Y provides a fun and safe place for some 25,000 campers who participate in the Y’s summer camp program.
Lauderhill Vice-Mayor Haywood Benson is one of the Y’s strongest supporters. He stopped by the daylong event to get a glimpse at some of the activities that the campers are engaged in throughout the 10-week summer program.
Benson conveyed how the City of Lauderhill’s relationship with the Lauderhill YMCA came about when the City of Lauderhill joined forces with the YMCA, Broward County Schools, and the Florida Department of Transportation to address a public safety issues which had a negative impact on some local students.
“For the last couple of years we have been working along-side the YMCA. It started with a problem that the children identified of trying to get from the westside of the turnpike to the eastside of the turnpike to attend Lauderhill Middle School. That resulted in the City, Department of Transportation, the School Board of Broward County, and anybody else who would listen to try to minimize the problem of gangs crossing that pedestrian path from getting here. I am happy to say that we have resolved much of that problem and from that we have gone into other areas to enhance the ability of these young people to become themselves.”
The event also focused on several other important issues including educating volunteers about program curriculum, staff training expectations, risk management, and program happenings over the summer.
Campers provided the entertainment during the luncheon with several musical renditions and skits before board members and volunteers who ate along-side them.
According to local YMCA officials, one in four campers who are served by the YMCA receives financial assistance. The YMCA works to allow children who enroll in the camp are not turned away regardless of their inability to pay.
The YMCA is engaged in improving the quality of life for each and every camper who participates in their programs, which cover a wide range of topics such as drowning prevention, bullying, health and wellness, and education/learning achievement initiatives.
Jocelyn Boyd, Executive Director of the Lauderhill YMCA, explained how the Y impacts the lives of young people by offering them some positive alternatives to solving some of the problems that they may be experiencing and encouraging them to make smart decisions. She also credited the board members for their support of their efforts, without which they would not be able to help as many children as they do year round.
“Traditionally the Y has been known for our summer day camp. Here at the Lauderhill Y camp we have campers ranging from five to eighteen years old. It’s really kind of a neat mixture of students from all age ranges. But really it’s to give our board members that firsthand experience of the day of the life is with a camper and to really thank them for their contributions and their support because without that support our kids in the summer wouldn’t have a place that’s safe and healthy and engaging to continue their education. So today is really about celebrating that and allowing our board members to experience it.”
Boyd also encouraged parents to consider enrolling their children in their local YMCA in their neighborhood.
“I think our approach is really to take a look at the whole child. And I think that’s different in a lot of places. When I say the whole child we’re talking about the academic preparedness and making sure that in the summer months they do not lose that learning loss during the summer. And it’s just a great place where you have nurturing people that really love and care about kids. If you’re looking for a place that cares about them and cares about their growth then the Y is that place,” added Boyd.
One of the Y’s initiatives that was launched several years ago enlisted the input of students from the Lauderhill YMCA branch. It was called “Live Well Lauderhill.”
The event also afforded campers, counselors, and parents to share some of their special YMCA moments they had experienced before those in attendance in attendance. Campers also displayed some of their arts and crafts which they had designed.
Jasmin Carter, a 15-year-old tenth grader attending Boyd Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes participated in the “Living Well Lauderhill” Program sponsored by the Lauderhill YMCA and was one of those students who worked with local officials to remedy the issues involving the safety of fellow students who attended Lauderhill Middle School.
“I participate in the Lauderhill Y and I’m part of “Live Well Lauderhill.” “Live Well Lauderhill” was a very good experience because we were able to help change our own community where we live, and I was able to see what my peers were going through and change it for them.”
Carter also offered some advice to fellow students who may be facing some similar issues.
“I would tell them not to be afraid to talk to an adult. Sometimes they think that they won’t listen to them, but if you have a good reason they’ll be willing to help you and try to improve things with you,” added Carter.