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Naperville Y Camp Offers Volunteer and Leadership Opportunities to Middle Schoolers

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This summer, young people across the western suburbs will return to summer camp. They will return to friends they've missed, counselors they loved, sports, games and silly songs. Some Naperville area preteens however, will be embarking on an entirely new type of camp experience. Naperville’s Fry Family YMCA is introducing Camp E.D.G.E. (Educate, Develop, Give, Experience), an opportunity for young people to gain volunteer experience, while learning leadership, team building, cooperation, problem solving and goal setting.
In volunteering with organizations like Feed My Starving Children, The DuPage Children’s Museum and DuPage PADS, these young people will become aware of community and social issues like education, hunger, homelessness and the environment, and will have a hand in working to solve these issues. Along with service work, the campers will take part in team- building and leadership activities as well as activities like obstacle courses and orienteering that instill confidence and promote self esteem.
“Camp E.D.G.E. is a great opportunity for middle school kids to learn hands-on about giving back to our community. Having this experience will open their eyes and hearts as they see a broader picture of feeding the hungry, caring for others, green gardening and improving their environment” says Judy Ellertson, Executive Director of Fry Family YMCA and Y Sports Complex. “As many schools and churches are asking their youth to complete service hours, this is an excellent opportunity for a diverse experience that will prepare them well for high school and beyond.”
Camp E.D.G.E. sets up young people with a life-long passion for service, according to IdaLynn Wenhold, Executive Director of KidsMatter in Naperville. “Research shows that young people who volunteer in their early years are more likely to volunteer later in life, especially when they serve alongside adult role models. Camp E.D.G.E. not only provides fun opportunities for growth and service, but it inspires them to make serving others a part of their lives” she says.
The inaugural season of Camp E.D.G.E is sponsored by Naperville Bank & Trust and The Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise. Campers will join Sunrise Rotarians in the club’s annual Clean Sweep project, this year benefitting Little Friends.
Camp E.D.G.E. is now registering middle school students in grades 6-8 for the weeks of June 11-15, June 18-22, and July 9-13. Campers may register for one, two or all three weeks. For more information contact Fry Family YMCA Youth and Family Director, Claudia Langoni at clangoni@ymcachicago.org or call 630-579-5704.

About the Fry Family YMCA: A branch of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the Fry Family Y is located at 2120 W. 95th Street on the south side of Naperville . To learn more visit www.fryymca.org.

About the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago: The Y is Chicagoland’s leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Through its 25 member centers, five camps and hundreds of extension sites, the Y of Metro Chicago helps children learn and grow, teaches young people to lead, brings families closer, and encourages individual health and wellbeing. As one of the largest and oldest/most established cause-driven organizations/nonprofits in Chicago, YMCA programs impact hundreds of thousands of lives annually, helping to strengthen neighborhoods and respond to unique community needs across Chicagoland. To learn more, visit www.ymcachicago.org.

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