A child playing with drums at a YMCA summer camp
Jul 16, 2021

Both on-site and off-site, Y summer camps offer adventure in spades

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago’s summer camps are a testament to the transformative power of fun: they teachinspire, and foster a sense of belonging in our community’s kids. Beyond this, our camps transport youth—both literally and imaginatively—to new worlds and novel experiences through enriching excursions of all sorts.

Due to the pandemic, summer camp field trips look a little different this year: campers embarking on off-site treks are kept in “pods” to ensure social distancing on buses and limit the risk of cross-exposure, and on-site events bring special guests and out-of-the-box activities to the Y while maintaining each center’s COVID-19 safety protocols. Still, these immersive adventures continue to surprise and delight while encouraging camaraderie among the Y’s young campers.

Here’s a sampling of the creative ways the Y’s intrepid explorers have kept busy this summer:

Young baseball fans at the Lake View YMCA’s Sports Camp got to watch the teamwork skills they’ve been developing in full force at Rosemont’s Impact Field during a Chicago Dogs baseball game.

These sporty campers also got to put their golf skills to the test with a trip to the Holes & Knolls miniature golf course in Glen Ellyn. Suffice it to say, whether at home or away, the Lake View YMCA’s budding athletes keep bringing their A-game!

Meanwhile, at the Indian Boundary YMCA, the pie’s the limit when it comes to summer fun! This week, campers voted on which of their favorite counselors to pie in the face. With paper plates full of whipped cream and smiles all around, this tongue-in-cheek spectacle proved to be the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.

Documentary filmmaker Bob Dolgan visited the Irving Park YMCA to screen his film Monty and Rose, a tale of two endangered Piping Plovers nesting on Chicago’s Montrose Beach. In addition to enjoying the documentary, kids asked thought-provoking questions on how to be better stewards of our shared planet.

Campers at the Sage YMCA celebrated their annual “Messy Week” tradition, playing with dye-filled water balloons, shaving cream, bubbles, glitter, paint, and other fun, mess-making materials. Counselors got in on the fun, too, putting shaving cream on their heads as kids attempted to toss cheese balls so they’d stick to the foam.

Campers at the Foglia YMCA made a new canine friend when Officer Steve from the Mundelein Police Department brought his police dog, Titan, to the center. Officer Steve explained how Titan, a German Shepherd, gets trained to be mission-ready, using his astute sense of smell to help keep the local community safe.

YMCA Safe ‘N Sound’s Camp Aurora and Summer Adventure Camp enjoyed a fun-filled field day complete with games, relays, and friendly competition between the two camps. After breaking a sweat outdoors all afternoon, youth cooled off with some tasty ice cream treats!

Summer may be halfway through, but there’s still time for your child to have the adventure of a lifetime at the Y. Visit our website to explore everything the Y’s summer camps have to offer and register today!