YMCA Daycamp - Overprotective Mom!!

Updated on June 12, 2012
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
16 answers

My 5 year old (6 in september) goes to daycare 3 days a week when I work part-time. Most of her friends her age don't attend during summers so I was afraid she would have a boring summer and looked into options and decided to sign her up for a week of daycamp at the YMCA Camp Streefland which is a mile or 2 from my work. For this age its called "Wee Backpackers" for ages 4 and 5. Its located at a huge wooded campsite, they do not go on fieldtrips or anything. We went to the open house at the camp (in a beautiful wooded setting) and I thought I would be ok, but I am getting really nervous!

My concerns are mostly:

SAFTEY! She isn't a great swimmer and they have a pool. They do have 2 lifegaurds and they keep the WeeB's in the shallow end with a lifejacket. They also go to this little lake/pond in a canoe once or twice during the week, they have lifegaurds there too.

Plus I am concerned if it is a really hot week (it was 94 here yesterday! and 70 today, so it could be either!) and they are outside ALL DAY, none of the buildings have air conditioning. There is a lot of tree cover and shade everwhere.

It will be M-F 9-4! It seems like such a long day (even though she goes to daycare those hours and will be going to kindergarten full time in the fall).

The camp counselors seem really nice and fun but they seemed so YOUNG! Do they have the common sense at that age in case an emergency comes up?

Can anyone give me experiences their kids have had at this age? Do you think she's too young for something like this?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

Send her to camp!!!

My daughters have been attending day camp since age 5. They go all day and are outside all day. They love it. If there is shade, they'll be just fine in the heat. Kids don't need a/c.

Yes, the counselors are young. Most of them have been thru lots of training. I would be concerned of the "common sense" factor. However, there should be several adults available to guide the young counselors.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

No she is not too young and she will have a wonderful time! Take a deep breath and send her. My cousin was a camp counselor and she was trained in CPR, lifeguard and some other stuff. She lived up there all summer. What you described sounds like a wonderful week.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Appleton on

Please do not do to your child what my Mom did to me. My Mom was afraid of everything. She never learned to swim, or ride a bike, she honestly believed that if a woman went out alone she would be attacked and raped ------ fear ---- fear----fear. Everytime I tried to spread my wings she tried to clip them. I wanted to move to NYC after high school to study drama and acting my mom refused to let me go because she just knew I would be murdered. I never got to go to camp as a kid because my mom was afraid I would get hurt.

The counselors at day camps are well trained. Let your daughter experience life.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

This sounds like great fun. I agree that you're being over protective. The staff will keep her safe.

My granddaughter went to Y after school care at 5 and summer camp after that. She had fun, was closely monitored, activities were appropriate for her age.

Yes, the counselors are young but they're also screened and trained. My grandchildren have been in Y after school as well as summer programs for several years and they were managed well. The young supervisors have an older adult as supervisor who will visit the site regularly.

I did some volunteer work with them and found the young staff to be better equipped in some ways to handle their young, exuberant charges than I was. They have the energy and their own recent experience as a child to carry thru.

As to the long day. The day will be broken up with activities and quiet time. There will be lunch and snacks.

As to temperature. Many of us grew up without air conditioning and survived quite well. The staff will give the kids cool down times. There's a pool to cool off in. It will be OK.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

My kids love the Y daycamp in fact we met one of our best babysitters through the Y daycamp!

Air conditioning is a new thing...people survive just fine without it...and many people suvive just fine outside all day long all the time also...

I can tell you work in a cozy well air conditioned place :) not that this is a bad thing but I assure you your child with be just fine :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

My boys went to YMCA daycamp for 5 years in a row. THEY LOVED it.

Here is my answer to your questions:

1. The YMCA is using their already established professional lifeguards to watch your child, PLUS extra folks to be right there with the little ones. They will be just fine. Little ones actually tend to learn to swim BETTER when overprotective moms aren't there. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how much she'll improve. AND you can put her in swimming lessons while she's there too!

2. They aren't outside all day. Talk to the providers. The childcare manager. It wouldn't make sense if there were no place to get away from inclement weather.

3. It is a long day, but it's not ALL running around. They'll watch movies and do sit down crafts too. Either way...she'll sleep GREAT at night. I suggest that you have dinner early.

4. They're young, but they have supervisors. And they're all trained.

My kids did a great job there....and we never had any problems. We loved that there was such a variety of things for them to do. And being able to do swimming lessons while there was SUCH a plus.

Enjoy it. She will. And don't worry!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Sounds like a lovely time for her. Send her with an open mind and with an open heart. Your misgivings might be sensed by her, and might undermine any chance of a good time being had by all.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Let her go. My boys both went to Y Day Camps since they were three (1/2 days, full days at five). The counsellors are very well trained, and young kids really enjoy spending time with teens as opposed to adults. She is almost six, so full days are not too long. In the summer we spend a lot of time tent camping. We don't have a/c, but we cool off with a swim, and rest in the shade.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I sent my son off to a YMCA camp in Oklahoma last summer for 2 weeks when he was only 4 years old. Like you, I was a bit nervous, mostly because he really can't swim and there was quite a bit of swimming involved. I reminded the head of the camp a few times that he couldn't swim. The camp counselors were all high school/college kids and there were quite a number of field trips involved, even just within the 2 weeks he was there. I have to say, it all went just fine. He is going to camp again up here in NY for 3 weeks starting today, though under a different organization this time.

I was a counselor for our vacation church school starting at age 14. It boggles my mind now when I look back to think of the amount of responsibility we had for a number of young kids when we were just kids ourselves. But there was never a problem.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

What a great opportunity for her. Send her, she will have a ball. Don't
worry about the "no air conditioning." We all survived well without AC.
Kids are much heartier then you give them credit for. Just sit back, breathe and let her enjoy her summer. Y camps are the greatest.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

I worked at day camps and at resident camps. Let me tell you, the staff is very well trained! There are age requirements, certification requirements, age requirements.

At the day camp, there were unit leaders and assistant unit leaders. I'm pretty sure the unit leaders had to be 16. The camp director and assistant camp director were adults with kids of their own. They were always near by and would be there in a heartbeat if there was ever a situation.

It can get hot during the summer, no doubt about that. They will have plenty of water, quiet activities during the hottest part of the day, water activities if they really need them since they can't just swim all day. We did arts and crafts, games in the shade, water balloons, etc.

The YMCA is an organization that is very family oriented and will be very serious about provided and safe environment for you daughter.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

way too young for a Y camp. You get exactly what you pay for with that camp anbd that is no supervision what sp ever.

I had to pick up a friend's child last year at one of those awful places and I just walked off with the child. NOONE asked who I was. I never signed the child out, I just walked off, technically with someone elses child, and NOONE cared.

The best part of that story is, they never called anyone to see where he had gone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Ask how old the people actually taking care of the 5 and 6 years olds are. The reason I recommend that is that my kids (older than yours) went to two different YMCA's for full day camp. One Y had teens working with the kids. I came to pick my kids up and some boy had my son down on the ground, grinding his face into the dirt. The teen counselor was just SITTING there, watching it and saying nothing.

You can imagine that this did NOT set well with me...

The second Y was totally different. The counselors were older and better trained. One kid was bullying my son, and I went in and talked to the head counselor. He took that child aside and had a talk with him, and that was the end of the bullying. I loved that camp and took my kids there for several years.

Your child is much younger, but it's still important to know about the ages of the counselors. Chances are that they watch the kids a lot more closely, seeing that they are so young. You could also ask if the counselors are with the children at the pool, in addition to the lifeguards. Ask if the counselors do "head count" often while the kids are in the pool, too.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My boys participated in YMCA day camps through the Southwest Area (Eagan) YMCA when they were younger. We always had good luck with the programs. Although the counselors are usually college students most of them do it because they love being with children and do a great job. There is also always adult full time staff on site supervising. I am a former lifeguard and I always found their water safety protocol to be very conscientious. When my younger son attended Wee Backpackers it was only a 1/2 day program. I know they changed it to full day shortly thereafter. He loved Wee Backpackers although a full day would have been too much for him because he was used to being home with me. If your daughter is used to full days of daycare then she shouldn't have a problem with it. They keep them very busy and they come home very dirty and tired. I think it's a great way to experience the outdoors which most kids don't get enough of these days.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter has been going to YMCA day camp for three years and she absolutely LOVES it. She gets to experience so many things, and she stays so active that she usually falls asleep well before her bedtime. I feel guilty having to work full time in the summer when my kids should be having fun, but with daycamp she gets to have more fun than she knows what to do with. The counselors are great. They are mostly college-age kids, but it seems that each site has a 'director' that is more experienced/older. The counselors are very well-trained and have been commissioned with STRICT rules by the YMCA. They are younger so the kids tend to have more fun with them, identify with them better. My 8-year-old is always 'flirting' with her counselors.

My 8-year-old is skittish in the water, so she's taking swim lessons. She can't swim on her own just yet and is nervous to go underwater, but she hasn't had a single incident that would make me uncomfortable while she's there. There are tons of lifeguards, counselors (they swim with the kids) and safety precautions in place for all of the kids.

Let your daughter participate, she will have a blast!! You will be glad you set your fears aside and made sure she had a fun summer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My childen went there for years and had a blast. They got to experience new things and do activities that helped to build their confidence. Becuse there are with children their own age no one go left out or were they expected to do thing beyond their abilities. The camp staff were awesome and took the time to get to know the kids well. The have a lot of safety rules in place and are very diligent when following them. Best of all they get to be kids and be outside

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions