During the months of July and August YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre, located near Bolton, Ontario is transformed into an outdoor day camp for 500 boys and girls aged 4 – 16. While at Cedar Glen, campers participate in a variety of age appropriate programs and activities in the outdoors including: recreational sports, climbing wall, arts and crafts, archery, swimming, fire building, environmental learning, theme days, overnight campouts, and day trips. Working closely with staff mentors, campers are encouraged to try new things, learn skills, make friends, and have fun in a safe and supervised environment.
While at Cedar Glen, all day campers are introduced to the YMCA of Greater Toronto day camp wide bead program. On their first day, campers are welcomed to camp with a bracelet and encouraged by their staff and counselors to work toward earning different coloured beads by demonstrating the YMCA core values of respect, responsibility, inclusiveness, caring, honesty, and health. Each week, staff come together to nominate a camper to win the Silver Bead of Leadership. This bead is only awarded to one or two campers each week who have demonstrated leadership skills in their camper group. Last year the first recipient of the Silver Bead was Liam Berger, 10. When asked about one of his favourite memories from camp last summer, Liam said “Winning beads for being special in a certain way, like the Leadership Bead. And that makes me feel great!”
Attending YMCA Cedar Glen Day Camp also gives children the opportunity to make new friends. When asked why he is excited about returning to Cedar Glen this summer, Christopher John, 10, said “It’s fun meeting new campers for the summer, and I get to play with friends from school and see campers from the summer before.” Liam also commented that the other campers at Cedar Glen are “awesomely awesome friends.”
Another part of YMCA Cedar Glen that many campers enjoy is forming positive relationships with members of the staff team. Throughout the summer camp staff members act as positive role models for campers, demonstrating the YMCA core values to campers on a daily basis. When asked about the camp staff at Cedar Glen, Liam reported that “the staff is really nice, they always respect your ideas, always make you feel proud about yourself, and help you when you have trouble.” Christopher also commented that the camp staff is “awesome because they teach me new things and help me learn a lot.”
YMCA Cedar Glen also runs a variety of leadership development and hiking programs for youth aged 12 – 16 who may be interested in becoming camp staff in the future. More information regarding YMCA Cedar Glen’s day and hiking camp programs and busing options from across many areas of the city can be found online at www.ymcagta.org/camps. For more information or to contact YMCA Cedar Glen call 905 859 9622 or to register call 1 877 303 2267.