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Putting together summer fun at the YMCA

School’s out and it’s time for summer camp

Photo by Karin Elton School’s out and it’s time for summer camp at the Marshall Area YMCA. These boys enjoy playing with Lego blocks Monday morning.

MARSHALL — Children love to be with other children and Marshall area kids were happily coloring pictures and playing with Lego blocks in a large, sunny room with music in the background Monday at the Marshall Area YMCA.

Summer Day Camp at the YMCA officially starts today. It runs through Aug. 30.

“Monday was originally going to be a school (snow) day and then it got changed back to not a school day,” said Racquel Paulsen, community programs director.

The children are divided into three camps according to age/grade: Discovery is for children ages 3 to entering kindergarten, Spirit is for kids entering grades 1-3 and LIT (leadership in training) is for children entering grades 4-7.

Discovery campers will develop social skills, teamwork and responsibility. Each week has a special theme that incorporates fun, learning and core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

“Campers who exhibit those values get a bead to put on a necklace,” Paulsen said. “Then we have Pie Day Friday where all the campers who receive a bead during the week are entered into a lottery and if their name is drawn they can pie a counselor.”

Camp Spirit emphasizes continued education — they read 30 minutes daily, have STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), art, games and regular trips to the local library.

Paulsen says an example of a STEM activity is doing an experiment such as having kids place rubber bands on a watermelon to see how many will cause it to crush.

“We make it fun so they don’t feel like they’re learning,” she said.

Teachers will appreciate the children keeping up with their reading, she said.

“And parents too,” Paulsen said.

Leaders in Training emphasizes leadership, confidence and responsibility. Activities include community service projects and field trips. Field trips include the Marshall pool, the Children’s Museum of South Dakota in Brookings, the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, S.D., and fishing at Independence Park.

All three camps will have the opportunity to experience the planting, care and harvesting of vegetables on site, which is something new this year.

For more information, call 507-532-9622.

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