CAMP FROM HOME - VIRTUAL SUMMER CAMP
As we navigate through this summer, we want to ensure that our campers still have the opportunity to enjoy meaningful activities where they can learn new skills and engage in fun experiences. To do that, our team has been working to create fun, daily virtual curriculum catered to grades 1-3. Through the virtual camp, campers will receive a daily schedule of activities including crafts, STEM, physical fitness/sports and character development. Combined with one hour of zoom engagement, campers will maintain social interaction with other children their age. Whether you choose one week or all, virtual camp is our way to bring camp to you!
Talking to Your Child About Summer Camp
You know your child best. Take a moment to process the information yourself before talking to your camper. It is best to discuss as a family, providing your collective support to your child, before they hear the news from friends.
Below are some tips to help guide your conversation:
- Acknowledge their feelings. Expect them to process this information with a range of feelings that may change over time, including disappointment, anger, sadness or even grief. Most of us, including children, have experience an unprecedented amount of cancelled plans, and adding yet another disappointment may be overwhelming. Acknowledge that it is frustrating and that it is okay to feel however they are feeling at the moment.
- Ask: What would help? Over the next few days, gently ask how they’re doing and see if they need more support. When your camper is ready, think about what can be done to assist them in this process. You can visit tgfymca.org/virtual-wellness together to review current planned Y programs together as a family. You can visit www.facebook.com/GatewayFamilyY to review activities and resources together.
- Check-in Again. Remember, it may take time for your child to process their feelings and to get to a place where they can think about moving forward. Our staff will be following up with our Summer Camp Families through email in the coming weeks with opportunities that may engage your child, or your family through your Y membership virtually.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to your branch at www.tgfymca.org/contact-us
Dear Summer Camp Family
May 15, 2020
I hope that you, and your family continue to remain safe and well during this challenging time. I am sure that you and your child have been looking forward to returning to Summer Day Camp at the Y. With a heavy heart, I share with you that The Gateway Family YMCA will not be offering an in-person Summer Day Camp this summer. After reviewing available research and recommendations and working with our staff to create contingency plans, we have come to the difficult conclusion that there is still too much uncertainty and unknown about this virus. Your child’s safety remains our biggest concern. After discussions, planning, and many sleepless nights, we could not ethically plan a program with so much uncertainty. The final decision came from the Executive Committee of our Board of Directors this week.
Summer Day Camp at The Gateway Family YMCA is an experience we know your child was looking forward to. Operating a safe and enriching summer camp takes many months of preparation under normal circumstances. At this time, with the current guidance and restrictions on gatherings from NJ Governor Murphy, as well as the recommendations from CDC, government and national camping agencies, we cannot in good faith offer the safe and enriching camp experience we were planning. We know this is difficult news for your child, and have included information to assist you in this conversation on our website at www.tgfymca.org/summer-camp-2020.
The Gateway Family YMCA has served the local community since 1900. We will continue to serve your family through this global pandemic and through the coming years. While we are not planning an in-person Summer Day Camp at this time, we are expanding our Virtual Programming, including Wellness, Enrichment, Chronic Disease and Family programs. Over the coming weeks, new opportunities will be announced at www.tgfymca.org/virtual-wellness.
I know this is heartbreaking news. We could never have imagined a summer without a Day Camp at our Y branches in Elizabeth, Rahway and Union. We remain confident that this is a temporary situation and that we will get through this together. Please stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you virtually for expanded on-line programs this summer.
Stay safe and well,
Krystal R. Canady, Chief Executive Officer