We are a solid seven weeks into our summer programs serving over 375 youth at two site locations, and our elementary Club members have already experienced so many incredible opportunities. Most importantly, they have become immersed in an all-around positive environment where they are not only learning and growing, but having a ton of fun! After receiving breakfast each morning, they participate in on-site summer school with a focus on Math and Literacy.
We have an amazing group of summer school teachers on staff this year who have helped prevent summer learning loss and, along with our mental health specialist Miss Aly, are working hard to fulfill social emotional needs as we continue to safely navigate our way through the prolonged impact of a pandemic and the overwhelming effect it has had on our youth.
In addition to the summer school portion of our program, the fun field trips and other exciting partnership activities that we missed so much last year have been brought back into the mix this year. Based on the extremely high level of enthusiasm our Club kids have shown on days they get to visit the waterpark for some fun in the sun (and water!), we have no doubt that it was the most missed activity during last summer’s program when waterparks and pools were closed. And while recreational venues were closed last summer, we saw an increase in activities such as bicycling. Some of our members had a blast learning about bike safety courtesy of our awesome officer friends at the Fond du Lac Police Department, who taught us how to properly fit a helmet, check our ABCs, and be safe while riding our bikes in the community.
Another fun and memorable day this past month was when a couple groups of our elementary members had the chance to take a field trip to the Ledge View Nature Center. We are so thankful to the Fond du Lac County Audubon Society for making that trip possible. The kids were so excited to explore the nature trails as well as learn about and interact with some cool animals, including a snake! A number of the same kids who attended this field trip also helped clear away weeds from the nature center at our Theisen site, and visiting Ledge View reinforced what they have been learning about nature and the environment: it will keep providing us with the gift of enjoying its beauty if we continue to take care of it.
A few other fantastic field trips and partnerships we brought back this year were Xtreme Air in Appleton, a trip across town to watch the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders play some baseball, and Rugby Camp with Fond du Lac Youth Rugby! We are grateful for the ability to venture beyond the Club doors this summer and to provide our youth with the full experience of our dynamic summer programs.