Our summer camp season may be behind us, but the friendships and the memories that the campers made will last forever. Every year, hundreds of children and teens from across Arizona enjoy coming together and learning more about themselves as they take part in the Valley of the Sun YMCA’s Summer Camp programs. We are committed to youth development, and our camps are a perfect illustration of our mission in action.

Earlier this month, we asked some of our camp participants to make postcards highlighting the favorite part about their experience. What we received was nothing short of amazing. Jenna, 7, who was a part of the Glendale/Peoria program, said she loved camp because she liked to go on field trips, and she shared a drawing of herself getting ready to board the YMCA bus. Azul, 5, another camper at the Maryvale branch, said she enjoyed swimming, and she drew a picture of herself soaking in the sun by the pool. Isabella, 10, also liked swimming with her friends, who she included in her drawing. Julian, 6, simply said camp is fun and he shared a picture of himself playing basketball. Abigail, 9, from our Glendale/Peoria branch, also said that camp is fun for everyone and her artwork shows her drying off after a great dip in the pool. Valeria, 8, and Skyler, 8, in Yuma, also liked the pool, and they shared images of a water slide and a happy girl swimming.

We’re happy to hear that these children had such a good time in Summer Camp, and we hope that they will join us next year! Stories like these make us proud to be able to provide opportunities for young people to thrive, lead healthy lives and reach their full potential. We hope that everyone else in our Summer Camp programs had a great experience this year too!