This summer 17 New Brunswick children had fun and learned valuable swim skills through the Raritan Valley YMCA. The one-week Healthy Kids Camp for children ages five to 12 taught healthy eating and physical activity concepts through various fun activities. Campers enjoyed daily swim lessons, nutrition and cooking classes, creative arts and lots of physical activity, gardening, first aid and water safety.
The free program addressed a major need for New Brunswick children: increasing access to recreational facilities and programs that contribute to healthy lifestyles. The campers were referred by various social services agencies in the city and were transported to the YMCA.
“Without the provision of these services most would not have access due to a lack of financial resources and transportation,” said Gina Stravic, executive director of the Raritan Valley YMCA. The YMCA has been a local and national leader in aquatics and camping for over 100 years. For the past five years, the YMCA as leaders of the NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids-New Brunswick has focused heavily on the prevention of youth obesity through policy and environmental change. The camp served as an extension of the work of the Community Health Consortium for Central Jersey, a partnership between Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The goal of the group’s efforts is to improve the community health of Middlesex County through collaboration, program development and implementation.
“The staff of several great agencies came together towards a common cause to make a difference with the children of the community they serve,” said Stravic.
Funders included the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Rutgers Community Health Foundation, USA Swimming, and Northfield Bank.SHARE: