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A new year always brings hope! But children need hope more than just the beginning of the year, more than just a week of summer camp, they need it every day. The last month Camp Fitch’s Mobile STEM Lab (no cost to the children) has been on the road visiting schools, local YMCAs, and community gathering spots, as we are committed to children 12 months per year. The Camp Fitch Tour will continue this winter and spring, as kids need camp more than ever—there will be some adult events as well so we can be kids again.
Camp Fitch 2023 Tour
We already have two families hosting “Open Houses” in their homes next month where two of our staff come and talk about Camp Fitch to families who might be interested in camp programs for their families or working on staff. If you would like to host a Camp Fitch event, please let us know.
Summer Camp 2023 continues to Break Records
Five, yes 5, of our 7 sessions are over 70% full as we continue to maintain a lead of 340 campers ahead of our 2019 record pace. We have over 1,700 children registered. Four Focus Programs have waitlists. If you have friends who are thinking about joining your child, I would not wait.
Take on the Winter Blues
We have three Camp Fitch programs for your child this spring (we also have Family Weekend Camping). You can register your child through their account.
February 10 – 12: Winter Ski Adventure Trip – beginner’s welcome!
March 31 – April 2: Kid’s Adventure Weekend
April 14 – 16: Allegheny Backpacking
Polar Bear Plunge
March 11 is our 13th Annual Polar Bear Plunge where over 150 brave souls plunge into Lake Erie to raise funds for Camp Fitch Scholarships. Another 200 less brave souls cheer from the bank, watch the Duck Regatta, and enjoy warm food and conversation. We hope you can join us as a plunger, a spectator, and/or a supporter of our Scholarship Program. Many campers plunge so other can come to camp! You can register online or make a donation here: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/polarbearplunge2023/
Spring Open Houses
Sunday April 2: 12 pm – 4 pm
Sunday May 7: 12 pm – 4 pm
*Tours, S’mores, wagon rides, bring some friends and enjoy the day!
Financial Support for Families
Ohio ACE - If you live in Ohio, families of 4 with a household income of up to $111,000 can register and be eligible to either invoice Camp Fitch directly or be reimbursed for up to $1,000 per year for child after school enrichment programs. Our Service Provider number is 202302. You can learn how it works at https://www.aceohio.org/how-it-works.
“Epidemic of Loneliness and Despair”
Those very words I have heard this year from educators, mental health experts, and articles in many media sources. The words describe our post pandemic children, especially teens. Camp Fitch YMCA is an outlier because about 50% of our summer campers are teens, while we also provide programs 12 months per year—not to mention mobile programs. To Make Kids Better, Forever, summer is not enough.
Camp Fitch is blessed with a Great Lake, a great staff, and great supporters. Yet what makes us a Great Camp is our ability to build perseverance in children. Whereas we used to do this in a week, we now have our 4E(xperience) program as marginalized youth need us all year. Last Saturday we had furry and scaly friends with us at the Central YMCA in Youngstown to give hope to kids. If you are close by, we hope you visit and see how even the smallest gesture makes the largest difference for a child.
Blessings and warmth to all!