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Beacons Summer Camp — One of The Best Yet! 

By YWCA Minneapolis
November 7, 2022
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We recently renewed our partnerships with local organizations, one of which was the Minnesota Zoo. We began new collaborations so that dozens of Minneapolis K-8th grade students would experience animals, music and swimming first-hand!  

Would your survival skills match the “fittest” in the animal kingdom?

This summer, twelve Beacons youth accepted the challenge during the Minnesota Zoo’s weeklong “survival training camp.” These brave students observed and studied several species, achieving objectives including applying research methods used by scientists, defining animal behaviors and recognizing behavioral adaptations (aka survival strategies) in different animals.  

“Everything was amazing,” exclaimed several participants.

One young person said that their least favorite part was being in a classroom for part of the day; the students wanted to be in the exhibits among the animals! Seeing sharks was a highlight, as was “hiking all over the place.” 

It was a great experience for all, going behind the scenes and inviting young people to modify their behaviors to positively impact nature. “Don’t litter” and “pick up trash” were some insights.  

From Animals to Ukulele

Through a new partnership, many students held two musical instruments for the first time: the ukulele and violin. Several youth thought these string instruments were not for them — until they got into the class and learned to play. By the end of summer, students were excited to show off their talents, even on stage in the school auditorium!

I enjoy when youth step out of their comfort zone and try new things! They show other youth positive engagement.” says Aisha Wright, program coordinator of our YWCA Minneapolis Beacons Program at Franklin Middle School.

To the Deep End of the Pool

So many youth tell us they don’t know how to swim. And so we love being able to offer swimming lessons each summer so that youth can learn this valuable skill without being afraid or risking drowning. Lifeguards instruct students several days a week. 

To gain permission to swim in the deep end, youth must pass a swimming skills test. It’s incredible and inspiring to cheer on the students who, not knowing how to swim at first, are soon swimming in the deep end with confidence!  

On behalf of the 150+ youth at Franklin’s 2022 Beacons Summer Camp, our amazing youth staff and community partners, thanks for sharing in our adventures and supporting us! Let us know if you, or someone you know, feels inspired to volunteer with our girls and youth programs – or even work with us!  

Learn more about Beacons Learning Center

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