Things going swimmingly at the YMCA
Associate executive director John Kampes says the YMCA of Cecil County is always exploring ways of staying fresh and relevant.
It certainly seems to be working.
An average of 35,000 people come to the facility each month, Kampes said.
Part of the reason for the popularity is the addition in recent years of a splash pool and bounce house.
"The number of family memberships has exploded," he said.
The splash pool, adjacent to the larger pool, includes drop buckets, a slide, and waterfalls.
The bounce house features several different types of things for kids to jump around on. There is also a rock climbing wall.
Kampes said the Y hosts 18 birthday parties a weekend with the splash pool and bounce house the main attractions.
There is a room located next to the racquetball courts for guests to eat birthday cake and ice cream.
"You come in here and it's like a Chuck E. Cheese's," Kampes said.
Recently annexed by the Town of Elkton, the YMCA plans an outdoor pool for 2016.
Other YMCA programs continue to thrive. The before and aftercare programs at elementary schools remain popular.
"We try to add one or two schools a year," Kampes said. "It's something that is incredibly needed and appreciated by parents."
The youth basketball program is underway. Kampes said 700 kids are playing in the league. This year, there will be an end of season tournament in addition to the eight-game schedule.
"We are always looking for something to stay fresh and trying to stay relevant," Kampes said.
In that vein, the YMCA is partnering with the Maryland Legends for "16-7 Baseball & Softball Winter Clinics". (The 16 is the number worn by the Legends' Ed Lynch during his playing days and the 7 represents the number worn by his wife, Renie.)
The clinic is designed to assess player's overall knowledge and skill level and includes a series of drills designed to improve their mechanics in throwing, fielding and hitting.
The clinics for girls of all ages runs from 8-9:30 a.m. The boys' clinics are from 9-4:45-11:15 a.m.
Session II is January 10, 17, 24, 31. Session III begins February 7 and Session IV starts March 7.
Cost is $25 daily for walk-ins, $120 per month, or $200 per family per month
For more information contact John Kampes at 410-392-9622 ext. 19, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ed Lynch 443-553-4108, email@example.com.
There are now over 100 participants. "It's the best instruction in the area," said Kampes. "Little Leagues are sending their players. The biggest compliment is that other travel teams are sending players."
A beginners clinic for ages 4-7 will be held Sundays from 4-5:30 p.m. Cost is $120 per session. Sessions start February 1 and March 1.
Anyone interested in joining the YMCA can stop by for a tour and receive a free gift bag.
"It's amazing some people have never stepped foot in here," said Kampes. "If you come in here the place sells itself. It's like a mini Hersheypark."
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