Three kids smiling and wearing lifejackets at entrance of pool.

Three campers enjoying the pool at YMCA Camp Cristina.

Fun, friends and adventure can all be found at YMCA Camp Cristina! When talking about camp, parents and campers often share how many wonderful memories they have made and the adventures they experienced. And for the most part, that is how most children experience camp.

However, the YMCA Camp Cristina staff shared their observation – youth mental health has become more important. The team has jumped into action, prioritized a child’s entire well-being with care at the forefront of their conversations, programming and curriculum.

Former State Representative Andrew Learned recently nominated YMCA Camp Cristina for the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award.

This award was bestowed upon the ACA-Accredited summer camp, thanks to the staff’s commitment and unique focus on youth mental health, well-being and employment.

Dave Boyle, the Center Executive Director of YMCA Camp Cristina, noted, “It’s a great honor to be recognized by our peer community. This award will help us spotlight the work the Y does on youth mental health, which is an increasing concern to parents in the community.”

Parents and health care providers have expressed the significance of mental health awareness in children and teens.

Youth depression and anxiety are at an all-time high and children and teens are exposed to cyberbullying at a younger age because of the rise in technology use and social media.

To combat the many social and mental challenges today’s youth are facing, the YMCA Camp Cristina staff practice active listening to intentionally give campers a safe space to be who they are and discover who they want to become.

YMCA Camp Cristina and Summer Camp 2023

YMCA Camp Cristina has an average of 415 youth at camp each week and welcome 60 – 65 camp counselors each summer. Campers are placed into groups based on age and are set with low camper to counselor ratios.

Being a Camp Counselor is often a first job for many of the Camp Cristina staff. Dave and his leadership team work to ensure each Camp Counselor has the tools and skills needed to succeed in their important role. Additionally, the YMCA Camp Cristina team provides additional resources to prepare each counselor for life, and a career after the Y.

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year

Meagan Springer, Operations Director at the YMCA Camp Cristina, shares, "It's a very exciting time for [Camp] Cristina as we continue to expand our operations and reach the community. We are grateful for this recognition. We stay thankful for everyone who has been involved. Because of you, Camp Cristina is able to impact the lives of all our guests by providing inclusive experiences that create lifelong memories in an environment that awakens the imagination, inspires dreams and provides a sense of achievement and belonging." 

You can support YMCA Camp Cristina and send a child to one of our 12 summer camp locations today! 

Published Wednesday, March 15, 2023.