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YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird expects record number of campers, even with some COVID-19 protocols still in place

Overnight and day camps are currently at 96-percent capacity.
YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird expects record number of campers, even with some COVID-19 protocols still in place.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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LAKE WYLIE, S.C. (WBTV) - As school winds down, plans for summer ramp up, and if you’re planning on sending your child to summer camp, you’re not alone.

YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird along Lake Wylie is expecting a record number of campers.

The fact that registration is through the roof is a great sign of things getting back to the way they were before the pandemic.

While there will be some COVID protocols still in place, there will also be more opportunities for campers to move and interact more freely.

Jessica Hreha’s 7-year-old son, Logan, was at Camp Thunderbird’s overnight camp for a week last year.

This year, he’ll be there for two weeks.

“He has tons of stories when he comes home from camp, and it really was a no brainer that we would send him back this year,” Hreha said. “He’s completely over the moon.”

Many other families apparently share the same sentiment.

Kimberly Conroy, the executive director of Camp Thunderbird, said that right now, overnight and day camps are at 96-percent capacity.

“We’ve already broken the day camp record, and the resident camp record we anticipate we’ll easily break,” Conroy said.

The chance to have a face-to-face interaction after the pandemic kept kids apart is a big selling point for many campers.

“At camp, we don’t allow technology, so the kids don’t have tablets, computers, cell phones, not even Apple watches exist at camp, so it really allows the kids to focus on relationships, activity,” Conroy said.

There will still be some COVID protocols in place.

For example, during check-in and check-out, parents will park outside the cabin and won’t go in to limit potential exposure.

Also, COVID testing will be available on site.

New this year is the opportunity for campers to interact with others outside their cabin, instead of campers having to stick with their cabinmates.

“Having this special week here or two weeks here is just something that these kids are gonna – it’s going to be the highlight of their summer,” Hreha said.

The Y said that Camp Thunderbird overnight prices are slightly higher this year – $75 per week more – due to inflation and higher costs for things like food.

You can register for YMCA Camp Thunderbird’s overnight camps here.

If you’re interested in YMCA Camp Thunderbird’s day camps, you can register here.

With the great volume of kids, the need for camp staff is more critical now than ever, and the Y is still hiring.

Click this link, and choose Camp Thunderbird in the branch drop-down menu for a look at jobs.

Related: Rowan Sheriff’s Office offering summer camps for kids

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