Are you a teen looking for some excitement over the summer?
To some people, summertime is boring — and to others it is relaxing. But for almost everyone it’s their time to do what they want.
Durham’s YMCA offers many summer activities for the young, but the most popular might be its camps.
Brian Huffman has been the executive branch director of Durham’s YMCA for seven years and will soon transition to a new role in the corporate offices as chief business officer.
“Many kids attend the camps,” said Huffman. “They serve over 500 kids a day.”
Two camps that Durham’s YMCA offer are Camp Skyline and Y Trainees at Camp Skyline. Both camps help kids stay out of trouble and also help them learn more about themselves.
Camp Skyline is a day camp for kids from K-5th grade. In this camp, they work on self-development and do fun activities. The Y makes sure that during the activities kids stay safe.
“We spend over 30 hours before the summer even begins training our staff on how to program safe games and activities,” said Huffman.
The camp has weekly guest visits when people come in and talk to the kids. Camp Skyline tries to focus on building campers’ spirits, minds and bodies. They also focus on five character traits: Respect, responsibility, caring, honesty and faith.
Every week includes a different session and each session costs a fee in which parents can choose to pay weekly or monthly. The Y offers financial assistance for families that cannot afford the Y. Their financial assistance is funded through their annual fundraising campaign called We Build People.
The Y’s We Build People campaign has over 1,200 donors in the community who desire to give to the Y in order to serve the citizens.
“ This past fall, we raised $434,000,” said Huffman. “We will spend all of that serving our community.”
Another camp, Y Trainees at Camp Skyline, is a day camp for teens in the 9th and 10th grades. Here teens learn about leadership and how to work with others in groups.
With the teens working in groups, they learn how to work with others in the real world, such as working with people they might not get along with.
Huffman said historically that about half of all Y Trainees become Y employees.
The Y camps can teach time-management, self-confidence, leadership, the ability to think and much more. Huffman tells the story of the transformation of a former camp attendee.
Huffman explained that one of the Y’s employees was once homeless and struggled to engage others.
“After several years in Y camps, he not only came out of his shell, but he became a leader,” he said.
“He is now one of our senior staff members at Camp High Hopes.”
If you would like to learn more about the Durham Y and their other opportunities, visit their website at http://www.ymcatriangle.org/downtown-durham-ymca or call 919.667.9622.
By Raeshawn Wall
YO: Durham interm
The Durham VOICE