Cassville YMCA summer day camps to begin

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

School is almost out for summer, and for working parents looking not just for a fun outlet for their children but an experience to remember and new friends to boot, the Cassville YMCA can fit the bill.

The Cassville YMCA has been offering summer day camps for approximately six years. This year, they have two different camps available for children. The Rangers, for children ages kindergarten through third grade (based on 2014-2015 school year), has great Ozarks adventures to experience including amusement parks, museums, a zoo and other attractions.

The Challengers, designed for older children grades fourth-sixth, offers more adventure and more challenges. Each week, a new, exciting activity is offered such as a canoe trip, horseback riding or go carts. The daily activities are designed to keep older children together to grow in character and build community.

"We have the same program but different trips. We always change up the activities every year," said Rick Ragsdale, director of school age services and sports at the facility.

Ragsdale said they have about two field trips a week.

"This year, we're going to Silver Dollar City, Cosmic Caverns and a baseball game," he said.

Ragsdale said children can expect to do lots of activities and have fun at the summer day camps.

"We stay active all summer long," he said. "We're always swimming, hiking, we're always doing something so children are not just sitting there staring at a TV screen. Our whole programs are based on trips.

"We fill a niche. Our program is based around doing things. We do a trip of some sort almost every day, like to Roaring River, the park, or the pool. We're not a daycare, or a place where you drop your kids off and we just watch them. We have organized activities all day every day."

Ragsdale said registration is open now, and continues through the summer as parents can sign up their children based on which weeks they want. The first week begins Tuesday, and the last week will be the week of Aug. 3-7.

Drop off times are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and breakfast is included.

Ragsdale said since the summer day camp programs have been offered, enrollment has continued to increase.

"We started off with nine kids, and I expect to average about 25 this year," he said.

Ragsdale said he really likes to have fun and think up activities.

"We always try to think of fun games to do that don't cost a whole lot of money," he said.

One fun idea in particular involves water balloon launchers. Ragsdale said this summer, they are going have castle wars with the launchers. They are going to put inflatable bunkers around the soccer goals to hide behind (the castles), then catapult into them with the water balloon launchers.

"One of the other things we do that's a blast is a chocolate water slide," Ragsdale said. "I think we did about 55-gallons of chocolate syrup and 60-gallons of ice cream and we make a giant slide out it, then the fire department comes and hoses us down."

For more information on the Cassville YMCA's summer camp programs or to enroll, people may call 417-846-1535. The YMCA is located at 408 State Hwy. 248 in Cassville.

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