Hiring staff has been a well-publicized and ironic issue for businesses as COVID caution relaxes. But the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Y) is getting together to run its next series of summer camps.
It took a concerted group effort, many online solicitations and many personal networks to ensure that a sufficient number of camp counselors would be available to supervise the hundreds of children expected to attend the various camps.
“It’s a hot topic everywhere,” Charlene Rose, Y’s school age manager, said of the side effect of the pandemic.
“We reached out to graduates aged 18 and over as well as students,” said Rose, who coordinated the effort with longtime colleague and director of youth development, Stephanie Pepper. “Now we have a full staff for all sites. “
These sites include Marco Island and Naples, as well as traditional off-island sites such as Parkside and Manatee Elementary Schools, as well as the Marco Island Charter Middle School, which will accommodate students from various colleges in the eastern region. from Naples.
In addition to the daily camps – for which grants are available for children from needy families – many specialist camps such as futsal (football on solid ground), volleyball, basketball, dance and drama are available. also offered.
The academics of the daily camp are also important, but not to the point of overdoing it.
“We mainly focus on the areas of literacy and twinning,” said Rose. “For example, if we have kids making their own board games, that’s a math component. With literature, the idea is to have fun while learning writing and punctuation.
Most recently, when the various advisor positions were filled, the next step was intensive training some evenings over the next two weeks.
“We train them in the core values of the Y,” said Rose. “They (counselors) in turn help give (campers) experiences that they might not be exposed to. The idea is to help children flourish, succeed and have a good foundation. “
Rose, who has about two decades of experience with the Y, in addition to watching the children develop, is very happy when their parents thank the Y team at the end of the summer.
“It’s especially when there have been children with special problems or needs, and we have helped them,” she said.
Full details of the summer camp are available on the Y’s marcoislandymca.org website.
And, to learn more about the Y’s wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit marcoymca.org or dial 239-394-9622. Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco, on Facebook at marcoymca and Instagram at ymcamarco.