MULLICA TOWNSHIP — The Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA is offering a day camp this summer at the township schools complex on Elwood Road, its first camp in Atlantic County.
CCA YMCA has run before- and after-school programs in the Mullica complex for the past year, said Senior Program Director Theresa Booth. Its relationship with Mullica started when the YMCA sent information to a school principals’ meeting, and Mullica Township responded.
YMCA Camp Mullica, open to children ages 5 to 15 from any town, will focus on physical activity and healthy eating, Booth said.
“Our main interest is giving children something to do. They are not getting enough activity, because parents are working longer hours,” Booth said.
The day camp at the school will incorporate plenty of activity, she said, including 45 minutes to an hour of vigorous activity, where they are constantly moving.
“This isn’t a ‘sit in the room’ program,” she said. “They will be constantly going from one thing to another.”
The kids will be bused on Wednesdays to the YMCA’s Camp Merrywood in Pittsgrove Township, Salem County.
“There we have kayaking and tubing, swimming, archery, volleyball and a bike trail,” Booth said, as well as opportunities to play organized games such as baseball and basketball.
“Our goal is, by the time they get home they’re tired,” Booth said. “That shows we did our job.”
CCA YMCA Executive Director George Steinbronn said the nonprofit organization is interested in providing more programming in Atlantic County, and about eight years ago it was looking into opening a facility in Galloway Township.
“But we never made it to the goal line, so to speak,” Steinbronn said. “We’re always looking for opportunities, but the misconception is Ys come to town and build like a business. Basically, the community builds YMCAs.”
While the CCA YMCA has no facilities in Atlantic County, it does serve Atlantic County residents who travel from as far as Mays Landing and Hammonton to use its gym and pool facilities in Vineland, Steinbronn said.
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