Louis Catton, 10, said he’s learned a lot from his counselors this summer at YMCA’s Paula Manship branch summer day camp.
He and Aden Mayfield, 11, rattled off a long list of activities they’ve participated in as of the end of July: tennis, skating, soccer, basketball, zip lining, swimming, nature walks and archery, to name a few.
The zip line, which is set up on the Manship Y’s campus, is a big favorite with campers here, said counselor Jonathan Alexander. It especially suits the adventurous natures of his group of campers, all boys between the ages of 10 and 12.
“We’ve been having a great time this summer. We’re doing all we can to send them home tired, but they’ve got a lot of energy,” he said.
Soccer has been notably popular since the World Cup tournament, and, Catton said, they have been learning how to do some tricks.
“The way they (the counselors) teach us makes it pretty simple,” he said.
Aside from on-campus games and field trips, Alexander said they’ve been getting some opportunities to talk about the importance of compromise and the art of getting along with a big group of people.
“Disagreements happen from time to time, so if something like that crops up, we stop the game or whatever we’re doing and spend some time talking about it. It’s been helpful for them, I think,” he said.
Just a few steps away from where the boys played on a playground, the 10- to 12-year-old girls practiced their archery skills, which is a favorite activity for Avery Aucoin, 11, and Morgan Bellanger, 10, whereas 11-year-old Courtney McDaniel preferred the zip line, and Madison Lee loved skating.
“We went to Skate Galaxy,” Lee said.
For 10-year-old Hailey Cyprian, her favorite activity, without hesitation, was the days they got to eat cake. “Well, swimming, and eating cake,” Cyprian said.
As the group stood by waiting to start its next activity, the girls all agreed that they’d probably go crazy at home all summer with nothing to do, so they’d definitely come back.
Mayfield admits that he’d actually like to stay home sometimes and play video games, “but if you want to go to camp, definitely go to the Y camp,” he said.
This marks the final week of the 11-week camp cycle this summer, said Billie Babin, program director of aquatics, ropes, youth and teen programs, and the Manship branch’s camp was among the largest, with the number of campers per day fluctuating between 300 and 500 children between the ages of 4 and 12, Babin said.
For information about camp, which will resume next summer, or other programs available during the school year, visit the Y’s website at www.ymcabatonrouge.org/branches/paulagmanship/paulagmanshiphome.