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Ester Marsh column: Do you have a plan for your family this summer?

Time flies when you are having fun! I can’t believe the kids are almost out of school. My youngest will be a rising senior at West Rowan High, and exciting times are ahead for him. Are you ready for summer break? Many of you are, but if not, there are many great things happening.

We have our awesome summer day camps at all YMCA branches. The great part is that if you are on a tight budget, we have an “open door policy” where no one will be turned away due to the inability to pay. Our local United Way donates a big chunk of money each year to the Rowan County YMCAs to help offset the cost for parents and guardians with memberships, summer camp and before- and after-school care. The money raised from the Buck Hurley Triathlon and other fundraisers also help, and we have families and individuals who love to help this community by donating funds to people in need.

All you need to do is stop by any of our branches, pick up the open door policy form and follow the directions. The person at the front desk will be able to answer most questions you may have. The rules are the same in the summer — ages 10 and under have to be with a responsible adult. Ages 11 and up can be in the YMCA by themselves, but they have to be respectful, responsible, honest and caring towards themselves and the ones around them. Parents, please provide them with food and drinks for the time they are here. If they are entered in summer camp, they will be provided with breakfast and lunch. And we do have a dress code — if they wear what they can wear at school or sport, they will be fine. Swimwear is needed in the pool and splash pad areas.

Besides full-day camps, there are half-day sports camps. Call the YMCA for more information as each branch has different camps and dates.

Parents have two hours of free care per day with a Y membership while you go work out or take a class.

Besides the YMCA, Parks and Recreation, Piedmont Players, Waterworks and many other organizations in Rowan County will be hosting camps and opportunities for your child to have an amazing and safe summer experience.

My mom always told me, even a “good” child when bored will find something to do, and that something is not always the right choice.

Ester H Marsh, Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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