YMCA Summer Camp Empowers Youth | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

YMCA Summer Camp Empowers Youth to Lead Healthier Lives

May 17th, 2017 by Rob Armstrong

YMCA Summer Camp Empowers Youth

School is out in a little over a month, which means it’s time to enroll your child in summer programs. YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Youth Leadership, Day Camps, and Overnight Camps provide fun, developmentally appropriate experiences for children and teens of all ages, whether it’s their first time or they’re seasoned veterans gaining a leadership opportunity.

Our YMCA camp staff will tell you that summer camp isn’t just about fun and games. They’ll tell you that camp is a place where invaluable life skills are acquired and nurtured. It’s a unique place for kids to learn and grow. It provides children with different opportunities to develop important life skills that are difficult to achieve in any other environment. Often times, parents will be amazed at the growth and positive changes that occur when their kids come home from camp.

Youth development experts agree that children need a variety of experiences in their lives to help them grow into healthy adolescents and adults. Below are five of the many critical life skills that are fostered at summer camp:


Talk to any camp alumni and you’ll likely hear how some of their most meaningful friendships and lessons on how to get along with others came from spending time at camp.

Problem Solving 

According to the 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card, over-supervising kids or keeping them indoors to ensure they are safe limits their opportunities for physical activity and endangering their long-term health. Camp provides a safe environment, allowing children to learn freely about how to overcome challenges and develop and grow their capabilities.

Staying Active 

A Statistics Canada study found that only seven per cent of youth aged six to 19 got the recommended hour a day of exercise and about 62 per cent of their waking hours are spent sedentary. According to a 2016 YMCA Canada Healthy Kids Survey, when it comes to their children’s healthy development, Canadian parents are most concerned about their children’s mental/emotional health (50%) followed by physical (28%) and social health (22%). Summer camp is a great way for kids to stay active all summer and ensure they are surrounded with great role models and supportive friends.


According to Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist who writes about the links between time spent in nature and child development – “a disconnect from nature is creating sensory issues in children all over the world. On average, children are spending less time outdoors and more time in buildings than ever before.” We know that when children are connected to their environment, they are healthier and happier. Camp provides children with an opportunity to unplug from technology – giving them a much-needed break and a chance to be outside and reconnect to life.


When it comes to developing strong leaders, camp provides both implicit and explicit training including morals, ethics, problem-solving, teamwork, and life skills – giving them the opportunity to grow more independently, which ultimately builds confidence and self-esteem.


The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka summer camps play an important part in the YMCA’s vision of building healthy communities. As Canada’s largest camp provider, the YMCA is empowering the next generation to lead healthier, happier lives by helping them learn how to handle life’s curve balls. When kids and teens believe in themselves, the whole community wins.

To learn more about the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka summer camps, please visit www.ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca/kids-camp/day-camps/.

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