By Joe Bachman
The YMCA Urban Day Camp Experience, an alternative to children on the westside in the absence of Mead Pool, has been pushed forward.
The YMCA presented the option last week to council members, which offers weekly summer activities through the YMCA. The cost of $4 per child per day would include swimming lessons, physical fitness, gymnastics and sports through the YMCA in Port Edwards, and outdoor recreation, boating, ziplining and archery through Camp Alexander.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for all of us to collectively come together and demonstrate leadership,” said YMCA executive Brett Salscheider. “We need to make sure we have conclusive and accessible activities for this group of children.”
The YMCA estimates that 545 children will sign up for the summer activities, though the limit would be 572. $14,000 would be contributed from Mead Elementary, $11,000 from the YMCA, and an amount not to exceed $60,000 would come from the city. This amount would be taken from the money budgeted from Mead Pool, since the pool will not be in operation this year.
Alderman Lee Thao posed concern for the availability of activities for all children, noting that this is offered only for westside residents. There was also general concern with length of the program, as children will likely only be able to sign up for one week out of the summer due to limited availability.
“If a kid goes for one week, and the slots are all full for the summer, what are we going to do with them for the rest of the summer?” said Thao. “Is it really a good bang for the buck if we cant serve everybody?”
The motion was approved for the contract this summer.