Many children and teens have never experienced activities many of us take for granted, such as climbing a tree, paddling a boat, or learning to swim. These skills are more than just summer fun; they also help to build the confidence, perseverance and determination that can benefit them in many other aspects of their lives. That’s why Macy’s is teaming up with the Y-USA to help local kids from around the country experience summer camp.
During our Fashion Pass campaign, Macy’s will team up with the Y to send 10,000 kids to Y summer camps nationwide. Our Fashion Pass campaign will turn our stores into Camp Macy’s as we celebrate summer and send kids to camp at the Y!
Coast to Coast sat down with Gary Laermer, YMCA of Greater New York’s chief development officer, for an exclusive interview. For the last seven years, Gary has been helping children in need enjoy camp experiences. Read on to learn more about one example featuring the Y’s camp programs in New York City and how our partnership can help children across the country create camp memories.
An Interview with Gary Laermer, YMCA of Greater New York’s Chief Development Officer:
Our Camp Access Initiative makes overnight and day camp accessible to about 13,500 young people from the five boroughs of New York City. We also have a staff of about 1,350 young people working at the camps. For many of them, camp is a critical source of revenue to help pay for or save for college.
Our overnight camp is 125 miles north of New York City and sessions last two weeks or more. This may be the first opportunity these young people have to spend time outside of their New York City neighborhood – the first time they’ve experienced the quiet of nature or the darkness when there aren’t streetlights on every corner.
Day camps take place at 60 to 70 locations throughout New York City. For younger children who cannot be home alone or who don’t have siblings old enough to supervise them, we provide a safe place to spend the day, an engaging program of activities, and peace of mind for their parents.
Ys all over the country make it possible for kids to experience camp due to the scholarship funds they raise from generous individuals. Macy’s is providing a tremendous opportunity to spread the camp message to thousands of shoppers who might not realize the important role camp plays in a child’s life, or the Y’s role in making the camp experience accessible to so many young people. Macy’s Fashion Pass campaign is helping the Y expand the number of kids we can serve.
Young school-age children in our day camp programs are able to have fun, be safe and engage in age-appropriate activities that build on what they already have learned, and set them up to succeed in the coming school year.
I attended Boy Scout camp. When you’re at camp, you spend 24 hours a day for two or three weeks with the same people. There are not a lot of people, outside of parents or family, with whom kids spend that much time. I started long-standing friendships with people I met at camp in 1969 who are still my friends today.