The Osage Prairie YMCA will offer a summer camp this year for children age 5-12, beginning Monday, July 8, at the El Do Youth Center/Liston building, 508 N. Main. The program offers fun and unique experiences giving youth the opportunity to have their best summer ever by meeting new friends, discovering new interests, being physically active and creating memories lasting a lifetime.

The camp will be offered until Aug. 20. Summer sessions will be broken down into three, two-week sessions, each offering different choices.

Campers may attend one, two or all three sessions; they may also enroll for a half-day or a full day. Session 1 runs Monday-Friday, July 8-19; Session 2 is Monday-Friday, July 22-August 2; Session 3 is Monday-Friday, August 5-16. Children may be dropped off after 7:30 a.m. and picked up before 5:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and a snack will be provided each day. Fees are set at $80 per week for full-time and $55 per week for part-time campers with discounts for siblings. YMCA financial assistance and Missouri child care assistance is available to qualifying families.

The meals to campers will be provided by a complementary program known as YMCA Serving up Summer, run in conjunction with Camp Osage at the Liston Center. This program will be used to serve breakfast and lunch not only to the day campers of Camp Osage, but to any youth 18 and younger who come and eat, absolutely free. Breakfast will be served from 8-9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“We are so excited to be able to serve the El Dorado Springs youth and community, and we are coming to El Dorado Springs as a community partner,” Jeff Snyder, Osage Prairie YMCA director, said. “We are not looking to compete with any existing programs; only to complement what this community has to offer and fill some needed gaps. We have hired local staff as camp counselors and leadership, and we will be working together to identify all resources available to provide the most fun and memorable specialty camp offerings in the first-ever Camp Osage El Do.” 

Snyder also explained the importance of programming like this. "Research shows kids tend to regress in their learning, physical activity and eating habits during the summer months when school is not in session. Camp Osage is a program to fill those gaps in health and education to make sure kids have the opportunities to be active, read and learn through new experiences they may otherwise never have. We go all-in to make sure kids have the best summer ever."

Enrollment for the camp begins in July. Check the Osage Prairie YMCA Facebook page for more information and updates on specialty camp offerings and important dates. For immediate questions or interest in supporting this program, contact Osage Prairie YMCA at (417) 667-9622 or e-mail jsnyder@osageprairiey.org.

This YMCA summer camp is offered in partnership with West Central Missouri Community Action Agency and New Growth Community Development Corporation, with sponsorship by El Do Youth, Incorporated.

For more information about this cooperative effort, contact Liston Center coordinator Kelly Ast at (660) 476-2185.

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