Stevens Point Area YMCA CEO explains benefits of summer camp on youth mental health

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 2:43 PM CDT
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AMHERST JUNCTION, Wis. (WSAW) - Stevens Point Area YMCA Camp Glacier Hollow is set to open on June 7.

Camp Glacier Hollow is a summer camp in Amherst Junction, just 15 miles east of Stevens Point. It offers a variety of traditional resident overnight camps, day camps, and adventure trips for youth ages 7 to 17.

Ryan Zietlow is the president and CEO of the Stevens Point Area YMCA. He said there are three camp options.

“We have two different day camps one is held at the Stevens Point Y in Stevens Point, and that’s for our younger kids 5-7. Camp Glacier Hollow is a day camp. So kids come in the morning and then leave in the afternoon or in the evening or resident camp and overnight camps are your true traditional resident camp. Kids stay outside sleeping in cabins and get dirty and have a good time,” Zietlow explained.

He says camp can have a positive impact on kids’ mental health.

“Right now, we talked about the mental health of our youth. And we talked about the isolation and the technology they have. Camp is really an opportunity to reset all of that it gives them a chance to be outside and outdoors, and really connect and build relationships. Camp builds lifelong relationships that allow them to build their self-confidence, work on team building, and be kids. It also gets them disconnected from everything else that’s going on in society,” Zietlow explained.

Click here for registration forms.

The Y camp is a place where youth can learn about the environment, practice new skills, develop positive values, and have fun all while making new friends.