City dwelling kids go creek stomping, rock wall climbing, do archery and more

Intercollegiate YMCA college students take kids to overnight camp

This summer, the Intercollegiate YMCA partnered with Jameson Camp to take 30 kids from the Laurelwood community on their first overnight camping trip. The students went rock climbing and creek stomping, participated in archery and low ropes and slept in cabins for the first time because of an Experiential Grant of $5,000 from the Indiana Department of Education.

Summer Day Camp in Laurelwood

Throughout the remainder of summer, the Intercollegiate YMCA will also run a free six-week Day Camp for families in the Laurelwood apartment complex on Indy’s south side.

“Our AmeriCorps members and college students serving in the Laurelwood community did a phenomenal job with this new addition to the summer camp experience,” said Ashleigh Coster, program director, Intercollegiate YMCA. “We’re so proud of everyone involved in making this dream become a reality. The campers had an amazing time and are already asking if we can go again next summer!  We are so thankful to be able to provide these experiences to so many deserving youth and families in the communities we serve.”

— See how Laurelwood kids captured Jasmine’s heart this summer —

City dwelling kids climb the wall on their first overnight camping tripConnecting students to service

With a combined 18,000 students, the Intercollegiate YMCA works with four universities in and around Indianapolis to connect students to service opportunities and help them become well-rounded, world-conscious individuals. Participating in meaningful service projects both locally and internationally as young adults develops a sense of community awareness and responsibility that sticks with them throughout their lives.

Civic engagement also connects the college students to the community at large, which is a big part of the YMCA mission—building community. Major Intercollegiate YMCA programs include Alternative Break, Leadership Series, Community Outreach and yard cleanups in the spring and fall, along with monthly service projects.

Jameson Camp, the Y’s partner for the summer, primarily serves younger children and teens with health needs. It also provides one-on-one mentoring and courses to help children and corporate groups develop trust- and team-building. The woods and streams on its 130-acre camp on near Indianapolis serves as a sanctuary and a beautiful outdoor classroom in the middle of the city.

Memories and confidence to last a lifetime

As for the kids, they’ve got a new level of confidence and a bank of memories from their first overnight camping experience, the feats they accomplished, fears they overcame and fun they had with friends! And so do the college students. See more photos on Facebook.

To continue programs that help families like those from the Laurelwood community, make an online contribution to the YMCA’s annual campaign.

Overnight camp means smores and songs by the campfire