Children spend nine months of the year scheduled, tested, and often stressed. The summer brings with it a relaxed schedule and summer camp, where each camper is encouraged just to be a kid!

Through PLAY, kids learn to solve problems, make new friends, and discover the world around them which helps them grow. Daily activities range from traditional camp favorites such as arts and crafts, music, sing-a-longs, science lab and dance to soccer, basketball, gaga, volleyball, swimming, and so much more! Summer Camp at the Hamilton Area YMCA is the ideal environment for campers to discover, play and learn.

The importance of play at camp

1. Children learn through play. Time spent on the playground teaches campers social and cognitive skills as well as enhances physical abilities such as balance.

2. Play is healthy. Activity such as playing on the soccer fields is critical for children to grow strong and healthy.

3. Play reduces stress. Playing carefree in the sprinklers provides an outlet for children to release anxiety.

4. Play is more complex than you’d think. How children learn through play has been studied extensively. Following the game rules of GAGA, for example is a form of learning.

5. Making time for play is important to cognitive, language, physical, social and emotional development. Campers experience three daily activities periods and two swim periods each day providing plenty of time for as much play as possible.

6. Outside play is critical for exploring the world. Building forts, nature hikes, playing in the sand, and climbing the traversing wall are not only healthy, but build lasting memories.

7. Play comes naturally in a camp setting. Given the time to play, at the pool, at the playground, at the pavilion, children do amazing things!

8. Play is how children learn. Trial and error in a no stress environment provide opportunities that lead to improved self-esteem and lasting success.

Children look at camp as a fun way to spend the summer in the sun and splashing in the pool, but parents should understand that camp allows them to reap many life benefits that will follow them through their lives long after the sun has set on their summer camp days.

We have worked hard to plan an exciting summer of interesting and engaging camps and fun special events! And, our counselors are second to none, having had extensive training to welcome your children for the summer. For more information, visit

Hamilton Area YMCA, 185 Sawmill Road, Hamilton. 609-581-9622.

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