Crackling campfires, silly skits, and summer sun are the things lifelong camp memories are made of. Last summer, 10-year old Teegan Ferrel was a first-time camper at Camp Snohomish, YMCA of Snohomish County’s overnight camp. He had such a good time that he can’t wait to return this summer – and this year, his younger sibling, Tynlee, is joining in the fun.
“Camp was super fun,” said Ferrel. “My favorite memory was the end of camp party where we sang songs, stargazed, and ate snacks. I also loved my counselor and hope I get him again this year. He was really funny and told us lots of stories.”
Ferrel enjoyed all the traditional camp activities like swimming, canoeing and archery (he particularly enjoyed learning how to use a bow and arrow). He also made a lot of new friends.
“I’ve seen several of my camp friends throughout the year when I play YMCA sports,” said Ferrel. “One of my friends was on my football and basketball team. I can’t wait to see them all again this summer.”
Teegan’s mom, Heather Ferrel, was thrilled that he had such a wonderful week at overnight camp. “We wanted to give him an experience away from home where he could make friends, learn to do things outside, and spend time re-learning about the natural world after a couple of years of spending too much time indoors around electronics,” she said. “One great thing that came out of camp was the friendships he made. He made connections with kids across the county that have lasted throughout the school year.”
The YMCA of Snohomish County has been providing meaningful summer camp programs for over 100 years. Campers spend time building friendships and learning new skills through adventure and exploration, all while discovering the Y’s values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.
“Summer camp experiences are transformational and our goal is to get as many kids as we can to camp,” said Whitney Butterfield, Director of Camp Advancement. “Camp helps children grow by providing a safe, positive environment for them to discover who they are and the gifts they have to share.”
Camp Snohomish opened in August 2022, hosting 71 kids at The Ranch at Warm Beach in Stanwood, WA. Camp capacity filled quickly, prompting the Y to add more opportunities this camp season. The Y added three weeks of overnight camp and opened up more camper spots for kids entering grades 1-9.
“It is critical for the Y to provide camp experiences,” said Butterfield. “Youth who play outside are happier, better at paying attention, and less anxious. Spending time in nature also builds confidence. We are intentionally growing our camp program so more youth have access to overnight camp.”
For more information about Camp Snohomish, including session dates and registration information, please visit ymca-snoco.org/overnight-camp, Financial assistance is available.
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