Learning Lifesaving Skills at Camp


Denise Sirmons originally joined the South Tampa Family YMCA to work on her healthy living goals. But when she arrived, she immediately discovered her young daughter, Shana, could benefit from the Y as well. “I love that the YMCA has array of different options for the children to choose from,” testifies Denise.


Shana started Y Summer Camp as a kindergartner and has come back every summer since. “I was not at all apprehensive about the program because when Shana came home she was always happy,” says Denise.


On top of all the fun and friends, 9-year-old Shana also learned a lifesaving skill at camp. When she first started Aquatics Camp, Shana received a red wristband indicating her lack of swim skills. “Through the help of Aquatics Camp and the mini-lessons we did, she was able to progress over to a green brand,” recalls Aquatics Experience Director Jennifer Quijada. “Once she progressed over to a green band she was able to have more fun and her confidence grew.”


Denise agrees, saying her daughter is now a little fish. “Before then, Shana would do a lot of splashing,” shares Denise. “Now, she is in the deep end of the pool and doing amazing. She loves the water and wants to go swimming all the time.”


All Y campers have the opportunity to learn how to stay safe in and around the water. The Y’s Go for Green program provides free swim lessons to campers unable to pass the swim test. The goal is to pass and get a green wristband. Go for Green is made possible through the generous support of the Tampa Bay Rays, United Way Suncoast and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.


Whether it’s keeping kids safe around water, making sure they have enough to eat, helping them read or keeping them active and engaged throughout the summer, the Y has a program to benefit all youth. In our camps, young people build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills and make lasting memories. To register for Y Summer Camp, click here. To give the gift of camp to a deserving child, click here.


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