‘Y’ offers variety of summer programs

Published 7:03 am Saturday, May 7, 2016

As the days heat up and school winds down, it’s time again for parents to make summer plans.

Over at the YMCA, program director Toni St. Philip said their organization will have the usual summer camp offerings for kids as well as programming for adults. However, there are a couple of new additions.

One of the new programs this year is a water aerobics every morning from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

St. Philip said the Y was going to offer the course last year, but didn’t have enough interest.

“We’ve gotten a big enough response now,” she said. “As far as the camps go, the different camp we have this year is a sports camp. It consists of some of the same things (as the other camps) but each day we have a different instructor who comes in with karate or basketball or some specific sport, and each day we’ll target a specific sport along with the basic camp stuff.”

The other camps are the adventure camp and the Y Camps. Each camp is five days long and consists of a variety of activities including art, games and gardening.

The camps run between $75 and $110, and they begin on June 6 and run through the middle of July.

The camps are also open to non-members of the YMCA.

Besides the camps, St. Philip said she is hiring three lifeguards.

“The pool opens to the public June 1, and so I need the positions filled by June 1,” she said.

Anyone interested in the lifeguard positions must be Red Cross certified. Typically St. Philip runs certification classes through mid-May, but they may be cancelled if there is not enough interest. If the courses in Bogalusa don’t make it, there are courses offered in Covington.

After the June 1 pool opening, St. Philip said the YMCA will offer swimming lessons.

Swimming lessons are daily from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., though they are available at different times on specific dates. St. Philip teaches groups or individuals and adults as well as children over 5 years of age.

Like the summer camps, the swimming lessons are an annual community favorite.

“Those need to be registered as soon as possible,” St. Philip said of the camps and the lessons.

In any given year, St. Philip estimated she teaches over 140 swimming lessons and around 25 kids per camp.

“It’s nothing to put 250 kids through those programs and that doesn’t include the kids who come to play basketball and use the regular Y facility,” she said.

Besides the summer camps and the swimming, the Y is also expanding its growing program. That program started last year and showed people how to garden and plant vegetables. This year St. Philip said she would like to show community members everything from planting to harvesting to cooking to replanting from seeds they harvest.

“The growing program its not going to be just a summer program,” she said. “We’re starting it at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays. It’s open to all ages above 5. Adults can come, too.”

Also this summer, the Y is also hosting the annual sports program, the Sports Work Academy. St. Philip said this academy isn’t a Y program, but it is hosted by the Y.

“It’s on June 18 and it’s a one-day basketball academy,” she said.

Registration for that event will begin at the end of May, and St. Philip said it’s always popular, as the program brings in NBA players.

Lifeguard training is tentatively scheduled from May 14 through May 21, and the pool is scheduled to open June 1. Training costs $275, and recipients will get a two-year Red Cross certification. The public can use the pool from noon to 3 p.m.

The Y Camp will be offered the week of June 6 and July 11. The Adventure Camp will be available the week of July 25 and the Sports Camp will be available the week of June 27.

St. Philip said the Y is always in need of adult volunteers.

For more information, visit the YMCA at 411 Ave. B after 2 p.m. each weekday, or call 985-732-3741.