Windward YMCA has a full slate of fun summer programs for kids and families.
Sunshine Kuhia-Smith, Windward YMCA Branch Youth Program Director and Lisa Ontai, VP of Marketing and Mission Advancement, appeared on Living808 to preview summer programs and activities at Camp Erdman.
Summer Days at the Windward Y are special says Sunshine, “because we take full advantage of our Branch facilities and also the beautiful outdoor surroundings in our community – and literally right in our Branch’s backyard.”
For years, the Windward Y has participated with community organizations in the restoration and upkeep of the Ulupo Heiau and surrounding loi fields.
The areas are used as opportunities for outdoor education for youth and teen programs – an opportunity to learn about the environment, land stewardship and an appreciation of our Hawaiian culture.
This is a popular activity among summer campers and their parents in their survey feedback.
Summer program families are also invited to join in workdays in the Ulupo loi.
The Y hosts quarterly community work days at Ulupo Heiau – the next one is July 6.
Gardens at the Windward Y also are used for gardening and cooking healthy activities as part of our summer programing.
Summer Day Camp also includes all the fun the Y is known for.
The YMCA continues to be voted by Honolulu Family readers as the number 1 summer program.
Sunshine says, “Our program activities are not only fun, but healthy for the mind, body and spirit at the Y – everything from cooking, sports, and performing arts, to science and field trips.”
New this year, is Youth Choice, which allows Day Campers throughout the week to choose from a selection of unique activities according to their interest or curiosity to learn a new skill.
The Y invented group swim lessons in 1909 and even invented the filtration system that keeps pools clean.
What’s unique at the Windward Y, is the Y pool has a salt water system which kids and members love.
Fun fact: Living808 Host Tannya Joaquin’s grandmother Jean Freeman has a plaque at the Windward Y pool thanking her for her donation of the salt water system.
During the summer, the Y offers a special 2 week and 3 week intensive swim lesson program – so instead of a lesson a week, you have a lesson a day – so kids really progress quickly.
YMCA Camp Erdman is an option for parents to add to their kids or teens’ summer program schedule
All of the traditional camp activities are still a big part of the Camp Erdman experience, but now there is a lot more with intentional programs designed to increase skills and the spirit of exploration and adventure.
Ontai says, “Camp Erdman campers gain confidence, make friends and try new things. They do everything from archery, swimming and hiking to the ropes course and signing around the campfire. Our camp environment encourages skill-building, teamwork and fun!”
Parents can choose from YMCA Camp Erdman’s:
Week long resident camps for kids ages 7 to 17
They can add specialty camps to their camper’s week with Surf, Horse riding, High Rope Advance Training or Swim Lessons.
Teens can also do either a 2 week Leadership In Training Camp or 3 week training to be a Camp Counselor.
For Families, there are weekend family camps 4 times a year, coming up is Mother’s Day and then Fourth of July Camp.
The Y also offers a mini 2-night Camp Erdman camp as part of our Summer Day Camp for kids who have completed grades 3 to 8 during the first week of July.
The entire month of May is a Family Membership promotion.
The Y is waiving the $50 joiners fee for family memberships during the month of May.
With a family membership, you get up to 20% off youth programs and swim lessons – so that can more than cover the cost of your membership.
Ontai adds, “We are celebrating 150 years of service to our community and as a charitable organization, the Y’s focus has always been on nurturing youth, helping everyone become their best healthy selves and connecting our community to join us in helping those who need our help. Each year, we raise more than a million dollars and give it all away through financial assistance, to ensure youth, teens, families and everyone has access to our Y programs.”
YMCA of Honolulu:
Phone number: 808-531-9622