The Y has a long, proud history in camping activities and YMCA Camp Eberhart has been committed to nurturing youth development for more than 100 years. Not only do we provide a lifetime's worth of skills and experiences, but YMCA Camp Eberhart also strengthens the foundations of our communities through summer camp, specialty camps year-round, retreats, and other camping programs and activities for people of all ages, incomes and abilities.
At YMCA Camp Eberhart, we are a haven for learning and achievement for all children with the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility at the heart of everything we do.
ADD SOME FRESH AIR TO YOUR CURRICULUM
It seems the same circumstances that forced Clara into a wheelchair at the end of the 19th century are those facing urban children today.
For city kids, the separation from nature is affecting their wellness. A 2012 study seems to suggest that exposure to the natural world protects Amish children from developing asthma, hay fever and other allergies. The difference is startling. Nearly one-in-ten children in the US suffer from asthma while for children in Amish communities, it is about half that.
An October 2011 study found that each hour a child spends outdoors (beyond the average of 3.7 hours per week) reduces the risk of becoming nearsighted 2%. It is further believed that being in a natural setting can lead to an improvement in mental health and stress, by helping to raise a feeling of well-being. The psychological effects of family strife, bullying, or peer pressure was moderated in the studied children who had access to nature nearby.
The effect begins moments of arriving in the woods, lakeside, and meadows like those found in abundance at YMCA CAMP EBERHART.
More facts about a nature-deprived childhood:
- Eight to 18-year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, including, TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.
- Research shows that children are spending half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago and much more time doing "inside" activities (Juster, F. Thomas et al. 2004 - "Changing Times of American Youth: 1981-2003")
- Michigan is the 5th most obese state with an obesity rate of 31.3 percent. The Center for Disease Control concludes that the major missing ingredient is an hour per day of moderate physical activity (CDC, Oct. 20, 2008).
The Outdoor Education program at YMCA Camp Eberhart currently reaches over 2,000 local students each Spring and Fall. During their two to five day stay at YMCA Camp Eberhart, students experience lessons in a natural environment. We offer a range of classes to complement their classroom courses, which can be adapted for the 4th to 7th grade level by our excellent Outdoor Education instructors. Many of the classes relate closely to the curriculum for both MEAP testing in Michigan and ISTEP testing in Indiana.
For an idea of some of the classes offered, check out our curriculum guide. Much of our program is teamwork and education-based, but we can always find a little time to “play with purpose” by engaging in recreational activities, such as Canoeing or Archery.
Our Environmental Outdoor Education program is busiest in Spring and Fall, but we have added Winter Environmental Outdoor Education to our year. Schools are already signing up for our new classes which include Winter Tracking, Snow Ecology, Frozen Lake Exploration and Snow-shoeing and Snowmound-building. Indoor and outdoor facilities are available, making Horse programs and archery weather-independent.