YMCA of Metro North Summer Camps to Open June 22nd Following Expert Guidelines and Local Health and Safety Requirements.   

The YMCA of Metro North is planning to open its summer camps in Peabody and Saugus beginning Monday, June 22, and its summer programs in Lynn and Melrose June 29. Campers and parents can expect to see enhanced safety protocols in compliance with public health guidelines and recommendations. Camps will also include more educational activities to prevent learning loss over the summer months.

The YMCA of Metro North association operates two outdoor day camps: Camp Eastman, a 15-acres property located behind the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody and Camp Sachem, a 13-acre property behind the Saugus YMCA. The Gymnastics Center in Saugus also holds a mixed indoor and outdoor gymnastics camp. The association also operates Camp Melstone that provides both indoor and outdoor activities at the Melrose YMCA and Summer Programs at the Lynn YMCA.

The YMCA of Metro North’s new safety practices will follow state and local requirements, including: daily health screenings for campers and staff, reduced capacity in group activities, staggered mealtimes and pool time, increased sanitation and hand washing stations, and the encouraged use of face masks when social distancing is not possible. The city department of public health inspects and licenses each camp.

“Safety is always our first priority,” says Jen Conway, Executive Director of the Saugus YMCA and Camp Sachem. “Our team has set up a number of new procedures in coordination with the public health department. We will be able to provide kids with a safe experience, but also one that is fun and memorable; something kids will carry with them as they grow.”

As the state begins to reopen and virtual learning winds down, parents are in need of access to child care, recreational activities, and educational opportunities to keep children learning and thriving. Studies show that during summer break, kids can experience learning loss and gain weight twice as fast than during the school year. Camps provide an ideal opportunity to keep their minds and bodies active all summer long.

“At Camp Eastman children have the chance to explore, gain new skills, and learn from the YMCAs values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility,” says Rob Lowell, Executive Director, Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody. “Kids are learning these values throughout the summer, from archery, swimming, crafts and games, even service-learning projects. They’re having fun and making friends, too, which is an important part of the camp experience.”

Access to camp may be difficult for many children this year as families remain out of work due to the coronavirus emergency. The YMCA of Metro North wants to ensure that all youth have the chance to experience camp by offering financial assistance to those in need. The YMCA never turns anyone away for inability to pay. The public can participate and help send children to summer camp by donating to the YMCA of Metro North through their website.

“Summer is the ideal time for kids to get up, get out, and explore. This is especially true, following the months of stay-at-home orders and virtual learning,” explains Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North. “The social, emotional, and physical benefits of camp are needed now more than ever, and we want to make sure every child has an opportunity to participate.”

For additional information about camp, including registration and scholarship information, please visit www.ymcametronorth.org/summer-camp.