Back to school bash at YMCA

Published 9:22 pm Thursday, July 30, 2015

The YMCA and Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church’s summer camps held a joint back to school bash Thursday.

The YMCA and Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church’s summer camps held a joint back to school bash Thursday.

The Selma-Dallas County YMCA’s gymnasium turned into a party room Thursday as more than 50 children danced, hula hooped and laughed the morning away.

The YMCA’s youth summer camp and the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church’s summer camp came together to hold a back to school bash where the children got to participate in different activities and even go home with a book bag and school supplies.

Ann Murray, general director and CEO of the YMCA, said the idea came from Selma City Council President Corey Bowie, who suggested that the two camps combine forces and put on a great bash for the youth.

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Terry Chestnut, who served as DJ, and Venecia Eaton, youth and senior coordinator with the city of Selma, joined Murray make sure the children had a great time before the end of camp on Friday.

“It’s been a fun thing to plan and get ready for,” Murray said. “They’ve had so much fun. There was a lot of dancing going on.”

Although this was the first time the two groups have held a back to school bash together, the Brown Chapel camp and the YMCA are no strangers to each other. Many of the kids are classmates and are already friends.

“We have always partnered with them for our day camp when they would come in and use our facility, and we would help with [swimming and] water safety,” Murray said. “I just think it’s a great opportunity.”

Murray said the YMCA and Brown Chapel will partner on the bash again in the future, and the event will hopefully be even bigger and better.

“We want to do it every year. We wanted to have something before school actually started, so we needed to keep it small,” Murray said. “But next year we hope to expand it.”

The YMCA has hosted a number of children this summer for its annual youth camps, and Murray said they had an impressive 68 students attend the Y’s first ever Power Scholars camp.

The local YMCA was selected by the national director of Power Scholars Academy to be a pilot program for the five-week camp that offered students more than just a normal summer camp. The participants would have academics in the morning and enrichment activities in the afternoon to keep them on track for when they return to school in August.