Introducing 14Y Summer Club: A Camp Experience for Toddlers and Caregivers

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The 14th Street Y is gearing up for summer, and we’re excited to bring back our signature camps and add some new summer programming for children! One of our new programs is 14Y Summer Club, a summer camp experience for toddlers and their caregivers at the 14Y facilities.

To introduce families to this exciting new program, we asked 14Y Family Programs Director Meredith Fein Lichtenberg to answer some frequently asked questions about summer activities, safety measures at our facility, and the importance of cultivating a community.

What is Summer Club?

Summer Club is our new “camp like” summer experience for our littlest campers! For toddlers with a caregiver, it will be a sunshine-filled art, music and music experience with classroom time and water play on our rooftop playground.

Summer Club is new to the 14Y. Why did 14Y Family Programs decide to start Summer Club this year?

Well, we have this great New Town Day Camp that has been helping kids age 2 to 5 make memories for years and years. And we have our wonderful Prelude to Preschool program during the school year that is totally designed for toddlers who come with a caregiver. This summer we thought – why not combine the best of each of those, to make a great summer option for the children who aren’t yet ready for drop-off camp!

Summer Club will take place at the 14Y facilities. What kind of programming can families expect?

Each day, the kids and their loved ones will get used to daily routines by starting in the cubby room, forming the habits of saying hello, recognizing their cubbies, and cleaning their hands. We’ll move up to the spacious rooftop playground for water play, and then back down to our large Community Room classroom where we’ll have an art project, music and dance, and lots of time to run around. Grown ups will participate in the activities and have time to socialize and build their own community.

New Town Day Camp is running at the 14Y this summer, and is now welcoming campers starting at 2 years old. What differentiates Summer Club from New Town Day Camp?

The main difference is that New Town Day Camp is a drop-off program. Though there may be some age overlap (Summer Club welcomes 2 year olds), the main feature of Summer Club is that it is an activity for your child to do with their loved one, getting used to camp routines by participating with you.

What sort of safety measures will the staff at Summer Club be taking to ensure children, caregivers and staff are staying safe?

As with all our programming, we are intentional and deliberate about safety. This year we have been proud to partner with Mount Sinai Beth Israel who provide us with advice about health and safety for our early childhood programs. We follow current CDC guidelines for safety. This means that everyone who enters this building goes through a health screening before each entrance, and we observe current distancing rules. Program participants are expected to arrive 15 minutes early for class so that we have time for screening and to move folks through the lobby. Adults and children over age 2 are expected to wear masks during programming.

What other classes and groups is 14Y Family Programs offering this summer?

We have lots of fun planned, from Parent-Child yoga, to Parent-Child movement to Free Play on our Rooftop (all strictly limited to prevent crowding). These classes are free for Family Level Members.

This has been a very challenging time for many families in the 14Y community. Do you have any advice you’d like to share with new parents?

It’s been such a hard year—we all know it, but it still needs to be acknowledged. I’ve noticed that some families are finding that now that things are beginning to open back up, there’s a new wave of sadness or grief for all that we lost in the past year—the things we didn’t do, the people we didn’t meet, the isolation, stress and overload. There’s no way to undo all that’s happened, and sometimes moving forward feels strangely bittersweet. But I’ve also noticed that as folks start to come together, there’s so much good and so much healing. I hope for everyone that this summer can be a time of community building, healing together and moving forward, and we welcome you here for it!


Registration for Summer Club is now open! Register today!

If you would like to get in touch with Meredith directly about Summer Club or any other offering from 14Y Family Programs, please email her at MLichtenberg@14StreetY.org.

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