This was East Madison Community Center’s 46th year of providing 8 weeks of Summer Day Camp for over 100 youths ages 7-14 from Truax, the east side of Madison, and neighboring communities like Sun Prairie. Summer camp has been a major opportunity for these children and teenagers to further their academic skills, learn valuable social skills, and participate in recreational activities. Every year, our Summer Day Camp runs from 8:30 am – 4:30 p.m. 5 days a week. The camp is an extension of our yearly programs, and also features a few added programs and service learning field trips. This year’s camp theme for field trips was called “Getting to know Wisconsin.” The participants traveled to Green Bay to visit Lambeau Field. They also went to Sheboygan to see Kohler Andre State Park and Lake Michigan. One of the other highlights was heading to La Crosse to go fishing on the mighty Mississippi River. There were also trips to Milwaukee to see the museums and the Bucks’ new arena.
The Education classes included math, language arts, science, social studies, reading, and nutrition education. The Social Skills section consisted of classes in manners, alternatives to violence, drug and alcohol avoidance, self-esteem improvement and conflict resolution skills. The wellness activities consisted of gym activities at the center and outside the center classes such as rock climbing, canoeing, swim lessons, golf lessons, handball, squash, gardening and many others.
The camp also provided 12 youths from the area the opportunity to gain valuable job experience as summer camp youth counselors. The 12 youth counselors have been positive role models for the kids throughout the school year as well, by assisting the children with reading and homework. All youth counselors maintained at least a 3.0 GPA throughout the school year, and collectively had an average GPA of 3.5.