Over 150 campers attending the YMCA Cayman Islands summer camp at Truman Bodden Sports Complex had a blast on Thursday.

The special event brought together the island’s three Y camps from Camana Bay Sports Complex, Field of Dreams and CIBC youths at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church for a day of fun, friendship and spirted competitions.

There was lots of whistle blowing, foot stomping and fits of laughter coming from the grandstand as camp groups “Chili Chilies,” “Boom Chickas” and “Get Groovy Crew” tried to remain silent while camp director Jenny Stuesser spelled out the friendly activities taking place throughout the day.

The campers, ages 5-12, just could not wait. As soon as Ms. Steusser gave the word, campers bolted for the field. The lineup of activities included a water carnival, camp songs, a host of track and field games, lunch, devotion and a closing ceremony in which the teams were presented team spirit awards.

“It’s all about team spirt and having fun. Everyone drink lots of water, pour on lots of sun tan lotion, take frequent breaks throughout the day … We want you to be happy and safe,” Ms. Stuesser stressed.

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According to Ms. Stuesser, the campers were in the fourth week of the summer camp, which marks the halfway point of the program. To show team spirt, campers and camp leader dressed in brightly colored shirts. “Throughout camp the kids have been learning songs, dressing up with face paint, creating posters and wearing the YMCA necklace …

“We did everything we do under our core value theme, which includes honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and faith.

“I think it really motivates campers to understand the right way of doing things and helps to guide them in their behavior … We see a lot of success through the program,” said Ms. Stuesser.

Campers show their enthusiasm for the program.

Andrew Mackay, who competed in swimming for Cayman during the 2004 Olympics, said it was great to see so many kids involved in the camp. He said when he was growing up, they did not have a YMCA program so they were forced to find their own fun during the day. He also told the kids that most of the time he went swimming, and the friends he met while swimming were still his best friends today. During the summer, they could expect to make friends that would be in their lives for years to come.

Campers have fun during the sponge race. – Photos: Jewel Levy
Thursday’s celebration marked the midway point of the eight-week YMCA summer camp, for children ages 5-12. – PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER FLETCHEr
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