YMCA of Greater Brandywine Breaks Barriers with BumbleBee Day Camp Expansion

Summer Camp Bumblebee Adaptive ProgrammingA YGBW camp counselor draws on a whiteboard with a camper at BumbleBee Day Camp at the Upper Main Line Branch in Berwyn during the summer of 2023. /Submitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) is making waves across Chester County with the expansion of its BumbleBee Day Camp. This unique program, designed specifically for children with disabilities, offers a summer filled with joy, learning, and the same adventurous activities found in traditional camps—but with a significant twist.

Launched at the Upper Main Line branch in Berwyn and now expanding to Coatesville and Jennersville, BumbleBee Day Camp is a beacon of hope for families seeking an inclusive environment where their children can thrive. From swimming and field games to arts and crafts, the camp ensures every child experiences the quintessence of summer fun.

What sets BumbleBee Day Camp apart is its commitment to providing unparalleled support. “For every three campers, we have one counselor experienced in assisting children with disabilities,” shares Erin Lacotta, YGBW’s Association Director of Behavior Support & Adaptive Programs. This impressive camper-to-counselor ratio surpasses that of traditional day camps, ensuring personalized attention and care.

Despite these enhanced services, YGBW maintains affordability. “We haven’t raised the price because we understand the financial hurdles many face,” Lacotta adds, highlighting the organization’s dedication to accessibility and equity.

This remarkable feat is made possible through the generosity of donors and local organizations like Team Toyota of Glen Mills, which have stepped up to sponsor Adaptive Programs. These contributions are vital, as 100% of every dollar donated supports families in need, enabling them to access essential Y services like summer camp and swim lessons.

YGBW’s expansive approach doesn’t stop at summer camp. The organization has broadened its Adaptive Programs for youth and adults, offering activities from swim and dance to Pickleball and personal training, tailored to individuals with developmental delays and disabilities. “It’s about what someone can do, not what they can’t,” Lacotta emphasizes, underlining the positive, ability-focused ethos of these programs.

Bertram L. Lawson II, President & CEO of YGBW, reinforces this sentiment, stating, “We truly mean all when we say all members. We don’t turn anyone away based on age, race, gender, abilities, or financial means.” This inclusive philosophy not only enriches the lives of those within the Y but also casts a wider net of positivity throughout the community.

As the summer of 2024 approaches, families are encouraged to seize this opportunity for their children to join BumbleBee Day Camp, where every child is valued and supported in reaching their full potential. Through its ongoing efforts and community support, YGBW continues to demonstrate that inclusivity isn’t just a practice—it’s a promise.

Join the movement to make a difference. Be part of a community that cherishes every individual’s ability to grow, learn, and enjoy the wonders of summer. To learn more, visit ymcagbw.org.

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