Fall Camp with Housing Authority A Huge Success
By WestKyStar Staff
MAYFIELD, KY - For many families, Fall Break is the opportunity to travel to Disney World, the beach and other destinations. But because of a unique partnership between the Housing Authority of Paducah and the Mayfield Graves County YMCA, this year the travel destinations came to the students.

Student’s ages 7-12 who participated in last week’s World Travel Camp experienced life in India, Ireland, Indonesia, Italy and Iceland. Learning how to belly dance, paint the Mona Lisa, and make and blow up a volcano, were among the week’s highlights at camp.

“Each day the children would get a taste of the food, play a game the played by that country's children, learn fun facts about the country and make an art or craft that was unique to that country” said Tiffany Gartley, the Youth and Family Services Coordinator for the Housing Authority of Paducah. “We wanted to make this not just a fun experience, but a learning one as well.”

Gartley went on to explain how each child was given a passport, which was stamped when they entered the room each day. They were than introduced to each country through a time of discovery during which the children learned facts such as the nation’s symbols and flags, its shape and size, and important dates and prominent people. Next the campers explored the country’s culture through games, crafts and activities. The children would journal their experience at the end of the day.

Joshua Wessel, the Executive Director of the Mayfield Graves County YMCA, said what makes this and future camps special are the opportunities it has to influence the lives of children in other Jackson Purchase communities.

“When we first sat down to create this camp several months ago, we wanted to make a fun but low cost camp that can be packaged up and used in other communities during future school breaks. In a way, we are creating a camp incubator in Paducah using our combined resources and knowledge.” said Wessel.

Wessel said that he hopes to find a partnering community to bring the World Travel camp to for the winter break, while the YMCA and the Housing Authority of Paducah begin to plan a new camp for that same time period.

“We are excited about the future of our partnership with the YMCA” said Ann Ponder Simpson, the Housing Authority’s Director of Resident Services. “After hearing from the children who attended and seeing the joy in their smiling faces, I can already tell it is going to be a positive influence in their lives for years to come.”

For additional information about this and future camps, please contact Simpson at (270) 816-6480 or Wessel at (270) 247-0049.

Published 06:14 PM, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012
Updated 04:21 PM, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012

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