Great Outdoors at YMCA

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Through the Niles-Buchanan YMCA's Summer Day Camp program, youngsters are getting the opportunity to see what is so great about the Great Outdoors.
The program, which offers up a new theme each week, is focusing on outdoor activities this week with its Great Outdoors Camp.
A group of 20 children began the program with a variety of activities and games at Madeline-Bertrand Park on Monday.
Camp Director Nicole Smith said the idea of the camp is to combine fun, friends and education.
Through the social and educational aspects of the camp, Smith also hopes the children learn a little about themselves.
Despite some early rain, the group managed to squeeze in a hike along the park's trails, a game of baseball and a campfire cooking demonstration.
Duane Riley, a boy scout leader and retired teacher, visited the camp after lunch to give the kids some instruction on how to prepare a meal while camping.
He brought along two dutch ovens, a charcoal chimney, some canned peaches and a box of Bisquik to show the group how to prepare a quick dessert of peach cobbler.
Other activities planned for the Great Outdoors Camp this week include a trip to Fernwood today, an exercise on how to properly put up a tent, a lesson in starting campfires and a variety of other games and crafts.
Oak Manor third grader Nick Pearson, 8, is looking forward to exploring nature during the group visits to the park and Fernwood.
Dayna Coquillard, who will be a seventh grader at Ring Lardner next year, is a YMCA program veteran. She has been attending events like the Spring Fling, Winter Ruckus and Summer Day Camp programs for years now.
She likes how the summer program alternates with new themes every week.
Smith said one of her goals is to provide new activities for the kids each day.
The YMCA Day Camp is currently in its second week. There are a total of nine weeks including themes like soccer and Around the World in 5 Days in the coming weeks.
For more information or to sign up for summer camp, call the Niles-Buchanan YMCA at (269)683-1552.