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The Wood River Community YMCA offers several camps throughout the summer providing fun, educational opportunities to kids.

As summer vacation draws closer, the Wood River Community YMCA is gearing up for its popular swimming, climbing and general kids’ day camps.

New this year is the Y’s Summerbridge day camp ($50/week) at Alturas Elementary School in Hailey, open to rising kindergarteners through fourth graders. The camp runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays starting Monday, June 21, and ending Friday, July 23. The program is intended to help kids recapture lost learning days while enjoying a traditional summer camp experience of team-building games, arts and crafts, and outdoor field trips.

Summerbridge camps are divided into five full-week sessions, each with their own theme. Breakfast, lunch and once-weekly field trips are included. Financial assistance is available by calling 208-727-9622. Student campers are asked to bring sunscreen, closed-toe shoes, a water bottle, snacks and a backpack.

The first Summerbridge camp, themed “A Blast into Summer,” will be held June 21-25, followed by “Bugging Out” from June 28 to July 2.

July is busy with three more sessions. From July 6-9, the theme is “Dinosaurs: A Step Back in Time,” followed by “Space Jam” from July 12-16 and the grand finale, “Minecraft Lego Mad Scientists,” held July 19-23. To register, visit woodriverymca.org/programs/summerbridge.

Another day camp offered by the Y this summer is the Nature Explorer Camp ($190 members, $260 nonmembers), for kids ages 11-14. The outdoor camp runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, from June 21-July 22. Kids will participate in orienteering scavenger hunts, beekeeping, river exploration and other hands-on activities to connect them to the natural environment. Nature Explorer campers will need to bring a bike and helmet, cold lunch and snacks, water, sunscreen and a backpack with any essentials they need for a comfortable day outside.

As in past summers, the YMCA will offer a climbing day camp for kids 5-12 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The camp in Ketchum runs from June 21 to Aug. 5 with morning and afternoon options—9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.—and costs $130 for members and $180 for nonmembers.

Starting up in July is the Y’s Redfish Lake climbing camp for ages 5-18, held on Fridays only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 2-July 30. The cost is $120 for members, $135 for nonmembers.

The YMCA Swordfish Swim Team Camp will be held May 24-27 at 5:15-6:15 p.m. for kids ages 6-12 and earlier in the day, 10-11 a.m., for all ages. The camp costs $65 for members and $85 for nonmembers, with one day drop-in sessions $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Swordfish swimmers must be comfortable swimming backstroke and freestyle across the full length of the pool. The camp will focus on drills, diving, flip turns, race strategies and other competitive swimming skills.

As usual, swim lessons this summer will accommodate a wide range of ability. Group swim lessons ($65 members, $85 nonmembers) run from April 12-15 and May 3-6. Levels are pre-beginner (age 3-4), Beginner/Red (ages 3-6), Intermediate/Yellow (ages 4-12), Advanced/Green (ages 4-12) and Adult. Private swim lessons are also offered at $65 per half hour for members and $85 per half hour for nonmembers. For a full swim lesson schedule with group-size restrictions and level criteria—and to register—go to woodriverymca.org/program-type/aquatics.

Looking for unstructured, unlimited fun at the pool or on the court? Summer youth membership at the YMCA costs $26 per month for kids up to 18 with a three-month minimum. Those 11 and up get full pool, sport court and fitness floor access without a parent, and kids 12 and up receive full climbing wall access. (Kids 10 and under require adult supervision). A complimentary bus pass to and from the YMCA is also included with membership.

For questions on day camps and aquatic programs, email Katelyn Berman at kberman@woodriverymca.org or call 208-727-9622.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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