By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Day camps at the YMCA will be returning this summer.
City officials will contribute $16,000 towards the program, renamed from the ‘Urban Day Camp’ to the ‘Ultimate Summer Experience’. Summer camp at the YMCA will take a two-pronged approach, providing activities for youth through Camp Alexander, and through recreational ventures from AmeriCorp.
“It’s not an expectation that this is an ongoing program, but they took the concept and refined it,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink. “They felt it was a major success.”
Funding for the experience will come from last year’s Mead Pool budget, and will not cost the city any additional expenses. Mead Elementary and the YMCA will again partner up to take on the remaining costs.
Costs will mirror those of last year, with children enrolled in the reduced lunch program paying only $20 per week, and those not in the program at $40 per week. The “Ultimate Summer Experience” will also provide campers with a choice of what they want to do with their experience, with the option of picking Camp Alexander exclusively, or venturing to the one of many park-related activities by AmeriCorp.
“During the first four weeks of the summer, kids that would sign up for the ultimate summer experience would have the choice of either going to the Y camp any of the weeks, or going to the YMCA camp,” said Mead Principal Margie Dorshorst. “We’d still have the free breakfast at Mead and provide transportation from the Mead and one drop would be at the YMCA and one would be at the Y camp.”
The Ultimate Summer Experience may also feature a summer feeding program that will provide free meals to kids twice a week. While in its second year, the city still considers this program in a ‘pilot’ phase, as it was created last year in the absence of the Mead swimming pool. The Mead splash pad is slated to open in late July – early August.