KIDS TO CAMP - Inclusion Program
Each summer the YMCA of San Diego County receives hundreds of heartfelt thank you notes from children (and their parents) who have benefited from one of the YMCA's many overnight or day camp programs.
From spending an action-packed week in the country at YMCA Camp Marston to enjoying the excitement of a YMCA Day Camp at one of our nearby branches, these fantastic programs provide safe and enriching out-of-school activities for thousands of kids throughout San Diego County.
Each program provides a unique and memorable experience that promotes physical, emotional and social growth – all while having FUN at camp! No other organization in San Diego County gives children the chance to become a horse whisperer at YMCA Raintree Ranch, hang ten in the green room with friends at YMCA Camp Surf, or drop into the half-pipe at a Skateboarding Camp.
Offering these programs to each and every child in San Diego with facilities and services that are accessible to all is one of the Y's top priorities. The Y's Inclusion Program helps integrate children with special needs into our camps with the assistance of trained Y staff – all subsidized by the generosity of donors like you.
Grateful for the Y’s Inclusion Program, we’d like to share this special story from mom Tanya:
“Meet our son, Sam. He just turned 8. He is a happy, smart, active, funny, friendly child.
But two years ago it was difficult for people to see this side of Sam's personality. Sam is on the autism spectrum, and two years ago he had not developed coping mechanisms to function as expected socially. He struggled to follow instructions and responded with anger when called out, often hurting other children.
We, his parents, could not understand our own child's behaviors. We would wait for the daily call to pick him up from school or camp. We would trade off which of us had to leave work early that day: who had the most meetings, the tightest deadlines. And then take a deep breath and try, unsuccessfully, to talk gently to an autistic 5 year old who had clearly had a rough day.
Then we discovered the YMCA inclusion program. It seemed too good to be true: a dedicated aid to help Sam to integrate into a mainstream camp, at no additional cost to our family.
The first day of camp I watched my phone anxiously for the dreaded pick-up-your-son call. Instead I received text messages about his great day. Summer camp was a success. Sam made friends and rediscovered his love of sports. He practiced behavioral expectations and took these into his next school year.
Sam has now participated in the inclusion program for 2 years in a row, and he loves summer camp! Thank you for giving Sam the chance to enjoy his summers and to grow his social skills.”
From tumbling to tarantulas, thousands of kids will be provided enriching experiences like Sam had last summer, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. In 2016, over 4,200 boys and girls benefited from the Y’s Inclusion program or were provided financial assistance through a scholarship. Thank you for your role in making Y programs accessible to ALL children in our community!
On behalf of Sam and kids like him, THANK YOU for considering a gift to the Y’s Kids to Camp program.
Won’t you make a donation today so that more kids like Sam can have a camp experience?
Carol Le Beau
2017 Honorary Chair
Tell Us Your Y Camp Story
We are collecting stories from people who were impacted by a YMCA Day or Overnight Camp (on or off scholarship), and we’d love to hear from you!
Contact Loena Baranoski, our Director of Philanthropic Services, to share your story today: