Billings Family YMCA
Summer Camp Parent Handbook
(Revised Jan 2023)
YMCA Summer Camp is a quality school-age childcare program designed to meet the needs of children and working parents. We provide a safe, creative environment based on the four core values of honesty, respect, responsibility, and caring that are essential for positive character development.
YMCA Summer Camp will provide a safe, nurturing atmosphere in which children exercise individual responsibility, social interaction, and activities that promote healthy self-image and enhance the quality of a child’s life. The Summer Camp program will emphasize the development of social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills within a recreational and educational setting. Summer Camp is committed to promoting and supporting all aspects of a child’s growth in an atmosphere of respect. Children are encouraged to trust, learn to function as a member of a group, and have their individual characteristics recognized and appreciated by the group. Children are encouraged to make individual choices and take responsibility for their choices.
YMCA Summer Camp enrolls participants without discrimination of race, religion, creed, color, or national origin. Families needing financial assistance may fill out a scholarship application at the Member Services Desk.
YMCA Mission Statement
The Billings Family YMCA mission is “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.”
The goals of the YMCA Summer Camp are to provide a safe, fun, enriching, and supervised program environment for children ages 3 and up.
Summer Camp strives to provide learning experiences and opportunities to develop relationships, self-confidence, and respect for others. We do this through planned activities that may include arts, crafts, drama, structured games, sports, fitness, reading, special guests, swimming, preparing and serving food, music, science discovery, service learning, outdoor play, educational field trips, and much more. The program’s environment will attempt to meet a wide variety of participant needs.
Each child will….
- Be loved and cared for in a safe, healthy, and fun learning environment.
- Be given an opportunity to develop their social, emotional, and physical skills.
- Be respected for their individuality and given experiences to foster a positive attitude about themselves and others.
- Be given positive, age-appropriate experiences in their environments.
- Be given opportunities to participate in all activities provided for their children.
- Be informed of children’s daily routines and activities.
- Be given the opportunity to have conferences with staff and supervisor as need, to discuss their child’s development etc.
- Be given opportunities to contribute and share special skills and talents.
- Be respected for their individual values and beliefs.
Packing list for each camper daily
Each camper must come to camp with the following every day….
- Backpack that your child will be able to carry all day long if needed too
- Appropriate summer clothing.
- Tennis shoes (no flip flops).
- Swimsuit or trunks and towel.
- A nutritious and filling lunch will be needed certain weeks of camp (see program
information for details and on field trip days (3-6 grade Wednesdays, K-2 grade
- Bottle or container for water. No glass.
- A light jacket for cool mornings or poor weather conditions.
- YMCA Summer Camp T-shirt on field trip days.
9. Sunscreen spray.
The role of the parent in the Summer Camp Program is vital. Parents are welcome to visit the site and work with staff on special activities (birthdays, guests, themes, holidays, and family events). Parent involvement generates a united and healthy experience for the child.
As a parent of a child enrolled in the Summer Camp Program, if you have a suggestion, question, concern or complaint about the program, the conduct of the staff or the policies, the best course of action to take is:
- Talk to your child’s counselor. You may call and leave a message at the YMCA or talk to the counselor when you pick-up your child.
- If the concern or problem is not resolved in Step 1, please contact our Youth Development Director at 294-1619.
Data Privacy Provision
Summer Camp Programs comply with State and Federal data privacy laws. Information gathered from the registration and medical forms is shared only with the Summer Camp staff to serve your child properly. Information regarding families who are funded through financial assistance is shared only with the Administrative Staff and the Program Director.
Enrollment, Health and Emergency Forms
Enrollment, health, and Emergency Forms (program registration forms) must be completed and returned to the YMCA or Youth Dev. Director before your child’s first day of attendance. It is extremely important to keep your forms up to date. If you change your job, move, or change your phone number, please inform the Youth Dev. Director immediately.
Program and Financial Information
Cancellations and Refunds
If a parent chooses to cancel their child’s registration for the Summer Camp Program a program cancel form must be completed. These forms are found on our website, www.billingsymca.org or at the membership desk. Camp fees are non-refundable. Requests to transfer weeks will not be allowed.
The registration fee is non-refundable or transferable.
Please see attached schedule of when late fees will be applied and when full payment for each week of Camp must be received.
Health and Safety
Daily Attendance and Authorized Pick-Ups
A parent or an authorized adult must accompany each child in and out of the YMCA Camp Program site each day. The adult must sign the child in and out on the daily attendance register. Children will not be dismissed or released to an unauthorized person. YMCA Staff will ask for identification from the person picking up the child. A photo ID, such as a Driver’s License will be required to pick up your child each day.
- Authorized adults are only those individuals that you listed on the camp registration form. No authorized pick ups will transfer from one program registration to another. Only the adult(s) listed on your membership account will be allowed to add authorized pickups. This must be done in person and the adult must have a photo ID to add authorized pickups. NO EXECPTIONS!
If a parent or authorized adult comes to pick up a child and appears to be intoxicated, the child will be released to this individual; and as required by state law. The YMCA staff will immediately call local law enforcement.
City County Health Department Childcare Illness Policy
Children who come with any of these symptoms are not allowed into the Y or off site location.
- Fever of 100 degrees or greater- child must be without fever for 24 hours before they can return to care. – without fever reducing medication
- Vomiting and diarrhea-children must be without vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours before they can return. Vomiting includes two or more episodes in the previous 24-hour period. Diarrhea is defined as an increased number of stools, increased water in the stool, and/or decreased form to the stool that cannot be contained by a diaper or clothing.
- Bacterial infections-children with bacterial infections must have antibiotic treatment for 24 hours before returning to childcare for:
- Strep throat
- Scarlet fever
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Skin infections – such as draining burns/wounds
- Generalized rashes, including those covering multiple parts of the body. These rashes must be evaluated by a health provider to determine cause before they can return to childcare. Healthcare providers should provide written statement, which authorizes the child’s return for the childcare centers file in each instance.
- Chickenpox-children with chickenpox cannot attend childcare until the sores dry up (usually 5-7 days). Children cannot be exposed to chickenpox, even with the parent’s permission.
- Symptoms of severe illness, whether they would otherwise be excluded. Examples: Uncontrolled coughing, breathing difficulties or wheezing, stiff neck, irritability, poor food or fluid intake, or a seizure. Such children must be evaluated by a healthcare provider before they may return to childcare.
- A child need not be excluded for a nasal discharge unless the discharge is green and accompanied by a fever. Such symptoms may indicate an infection. Children with such discharge must be evaluated by a physician and authorized to return.
- If a child develops symptoms of illness after the parent or guardian has left, the childcare center must do the following:
- Isolate child immediately
- Contact and inform parent/guardian, as soon as possible and request him or her to pick up the child.
- Report each case of suspected communicable diseases the same day by telephone to the local health department (i.e., salmonella, shigella, giardia, campylobacter, etc.)
- Head Lice: If your child has or had head lice, all nits and eggs must be completely gone before a child can return to camp. Sometimes multiple treatments and combing through is required to ensure all nits and eggs are gone.
- COVID-19: If your child has been diagnosed or exposed to someone with COVID we ask that you follow the local health department recommendations.
Administration of Medications
The YMCA Summer Camp Program will not give medication to any child in our care. This includes medications such as prescription medications, Tylenol, Benadryl, and other common over the counter medications. All medications, whether prescription or over the counter are prohibited at the YMCA Summer
We ask that every camper come to the YMCA Summer Camp Program with sunscreen already applied. YMCA Camp Counselors will not apply sunscreen to children who are over the age of 8 years of age. Children of 8 years and older will be responsible for applying sunscreen to themselves as needed throughout the day. Staff will assist children under the age of 8 in applying sunscreen. Please send your child with sunscreen spray every day.
Policy for Recording and Reporting Accidents
In the event of a medical emergency, staff will take the necessary steps to obtain care for the child. These steps include:
- Administer first-aid deemed appropriate by staff.
- Completion of an Accident/Incident Report that is kept in HR files.
- Informing parent of accident/incident and what type of first-aid was administered. If appropriate, the parent may be asked to pick the child up from the program.
Severe Medical Emergency
If immediate care of a physician or paramedic is required, staff will:
- Call 911 immediately. Parents will be contacted immediately after 911 has been called.
- If a parent cannot be reached, staff will attempt to contact an authorized person located on the Emergency Contact Form.
- In the event that a child will need to be transported to a medical facility, the YMCA staff reserves the right, with the assistance of paramedics, to determine if the child will be transported by an emergency vehicle.
- Families will be responsible for any expenses incurred due to a child’s injury.
Because accidents can happen to all children, it is important that the YMCA has current phone numbers where parent/guardians can be reached during the day, as well as the numbers for the authorized persons listed on the Emergency Contact Form.
Medical coverage for children will be the responsibility of the parents.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Under Montana State Law, all professional staff that work in childcare are required to report all suspected physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect of children to Child Protective Services.
Child Abuse Prevention Information for Parents
- Who should talk to children about Safety?
A parent is the best person to teach a youth about personal safety. However, the staff at the YMCA will also be communicating similar messages.
- When should I speak with my child about safety?
While age and maturity matter and will impact the information you provide, as well as the manner in which it is provided, much of the content will be repeated for years to come. Start teaching very young children the correct names for their body parts.
- What else can I do to help keep my child safe?
Listen to your child
- Know your child’s daily activities and habits.
- Listen to what they like and what they don’t like.
- Encourage open communication. Let your child know they can talk to you about any situation.
- Reassure your child that their safety is your number one concern.
Teach your child
- Set boundaries about places they may go, people they may see, and things they may do.
- Reinforce the importance of the buddy system.
- Tell your child to trust their instincts – it’s ok to say no.
What personal safety skills should my child have?
- Knows his or her full name, address, telephone number and parent’s names.
- Always checks first with parents or person in charge before going anywhere or getting into a car even with someone he or she knows.
- Always checks first with parents or trusted adult before accepting anything from anyone, even from someone known to them.
- Always take a friend when going places, or playing outside without parents.
- Says NO if someone tries to inappropriately touch them.
- Leaves the area if someone behaves in a manner that makes him or her feel scared, uncomfortable or confused.
Parent Role in the Partnership to Prevent Child Abuse
- Familiarize yourself with the YMCA’s policies.
- Learn the basics of child physical and sexual abuse.
- Talk to your child about sexual abuse.
- Participate in your child’s programs.
- Do not hesitate to contact the YMCA with any concerns.
Basics of YMCA Child Abuse Prevention Policy
Research shows that only 11% of incidents of sexual abuse are committed by a stranger. The remaining 89% are committed by a family member or by someone known to the child or the family. Some molesters use the organizations where they work to volunteer and gain access to child.
When and where can child abuse happen?
- Away from the YMCA: Molesters do whatever they can to spend time with students away from the YMCA ex: field trips, sporting events, phone calls, and online chats
- During unstructured times: Unstructured times such as before school childcare, sports programs, or directly after lunch in a full day program are potentially dangerous because children may be unaccounted for while others are distracted by the events. Staff may be busy tending to one child while another wanders off.
- In isolated or infrequently used locations: Child molesters love privacy. Areas such as empty rooms, stairwells, storage closets, etc. Provide privacy and allow the child molester to be alone with the child.
- When age groups are mixed: Children may be at risk of abuse by another child that is older, stronger, or larger.
- When programs are short staffed: When programs run short staffed, supervision may become lax. Or, an employee or volunteer may be alone with a lone child or avoid scrutiny by others.
- In activities involving water: Activities that involve partial or full nudity abuse increases.
Steps for Safety:
- WATCH for interactions or behaviors that are not normal for your YMCA
- INTERRUPT an employee, volunteer or member that is spending too much time with a child. Ex: favoritism, sitting on lap.
- REPORT any concerns that you have about suspicious or inappropriate behavior immediately to your Department head, Volunteer Coordinator or to the Cause Driven Leader on Duty.
- CHECK BACK after you report a suspicious incident be prepared to share specifics and check back to see if the problem has or was corrected.
Information About Sexual Abuse
What to discuss with your child about Sexual Abuse
- Parents should provide their child with an age appropriate definition of abuse.
- Parents should tell their child that if someone tries to touch them or abuse them in any way, they should get away from that person as soon as possible.
- Parents should encourage their child to tell them immediately if they have a problem or someone makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Parents should assure their child that they will not get in trouble if they tell about abuse.
Warning Signs that your child feels uncomfortable
- Increased seeking of affection from adults.
- Reluctance to spend time with a previously favored adult.
- Reluctance to attend activities that were previously enjoyed.
- An uncharacteristic decrease in bathing and grooming.
- Preoccupation with sexual matters.
- Increased aggressiveness.
- Nightmares and sleep disturbances.
How to respond if your child discloses abuse
- Be sensitive to vague disclosures.
- Avoid expressing shock or outrage.
- Don’t threaten or condemn the alleged perpetrator.
- Let your child know you believe him or her.
- Tell your child he or she was right to disclose.
- Assure the abuse was not your child’s fault.
- Reassure them that they will be safe.
- Avoid questions that could make your child feel responsible.
- Get as many details as your child is comfortable disclosing.
- Write down exactly what your child discloses and contact authorities.
Please contact The Youth Development Director or any member of senior management at the YMCA with any concerns of this nature.
Enrollment, Health, and Emergency Forms
All Enrollment, Health and Emergency Contact forms must be completed and returned to the YMCA before the child’s first day of attendance. It is extremely important to keep the needed information on these forms up to date. The YMCA must be notified of any changes immediately.
Late Pick-up Fees
The YMCA provides program services from 6:45am – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents are required to pick-up and sign out their child no later than closing time. Unless prior arrangements have been made for the late pick up, a late pick up fee of $1 for every minute after the first 5 min will be charged and paid to the YMCA Member Service Desk. After 15 minutes, if parents have not contacted the Camp program or picked up the child, emergency authorized persons will be contacted to pick up the child. If the child remains at the program one hour after program closing, YMCA staff will call local law enforcement for child abandonment and law enforcement will handle the situation. Excessive late pick-ups can result in your child being suspended from the program.
Check out or sign out procedures
- Each child will have a designated line in the sign in and out log book. Parent or authorized pick-up will document time arrived to camp as well as pick up time. Staff will ask to see parent identification and will verify authorized pick-up names and ID as well.
- If your child will be absent or have a change in schedule, please inform the YMCA Program Director.
- Only individuals who are listed on the enrollment authorized pick-up form will be allowed to pick up your child. Authorized pick-ups must be at least 18 years of age to pick up a child.
- Adding authorized pickups must be done in person!
If the YMCA program needs to close due to an emergency, announcements will be sent via the REMIND app, staff will also make phone calls to guardians. If parents are in doubt please call the YMCA. Staff will make every effort to contact parents and remain open until every child is picked up.
The YMCA Summer Camp Program provides educational and recreational field trips from time to time. YMCA transportation, with a certified driver, will provide all transportation. The following are behaviors that will not be tolerated during YMCA bus transportation.
- Loud voices or yelling
- Throwing objects
- Standing up while bus in motion
- Other safety rules as applied by bus driver
Parents will be notified of field trips and of the locations. Proper safety measure will be adhered to at all times by staff and children to ensure a safe, enjoyable activity for all.
*Every Wednesday/Thursday is field trip day for campers enrolled in the YMCA Summer Camp Program. All campers will be required to wear their YMCA Summer
Child Guidance and Discipline
The goals of the YMCA Summer Camp program are to guide children to develop respect for themselves and each other. When conflicts arise over the rights of other people or property, the staff will attempt to work with each child individually and in small groups to solve and resolve problems and concerns.
- Parents will be notified of any problems that may arise.
- If a child continues to have trouble with their behavior, a behavioral report will be issued with a parent signature required.
- In excess a parent/staff conference will be held.
- If conflicts continue to exist without solution or a problem with a child is deemed excessive, dangerous or puts the Summer Camp staff at risk of neglecting the other children in the program, a discipline action will be written up on the child and they may be suspended.
- The YMCA reserves the right to restrict all personal items from being brought to the YMCA such as:
- Gameboys/personal game players
- Any Electronic Devices: personal CD players, Ipods, ipads, Gizmo Watches, cell phones, ect.
- The YMCA Summer Camp Program has a NO Tolerance Policy for the following:
- Weapons, anything that looks like a weapon, or can be used as a weapon
- Inappropriate language (cussing)
- Inappropriate bus behavior
- Sexually inappropriate gestures and language
- Fighting or extreme hands-on behavior
In any of these cases, parents will immediately be notified to come and pick up their child. Length of suspension may range from the rest of that day to indefinitely, depending on the severity of the offense.
****At any time, the YMCA may choose to terminate your child’s involvement with the YMCA.
HEPA – Healthy Eating Physical Activity
The Billings Family YMCA implements a series of healthy eating and physical activity standards in our summer camp program as part of the Y’s national commitment to combat childhood obesity and ensure that all those who participate in YMCA programs live a healthier, balanced life. Summer Camp ensures that every child will engage in at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity per day, including a mix of moderate and vigorous physical activities that promote bone and muscle strengthening. Play will take place outdoors whenever possible. The YMCA Summer Camp program also does not allow access to television or movies. We limit digital devices time to less than one hour per day. Digital device use is limited to homework or programs that actively engage children in activity.
Snacks (Food service practices)
The Billings Family YMCA facility participates in the he SFSP is a federally-funded, state-administered program. The SFSP reimburses providers who serve free healthy meals to children and teens in low-income areas during the summer months when school is not in session. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as the Summer Meals Program, provides kids and teens in low-income areas free meals when school is out. There are a number of ways that local organizations can be a part of the Summer Meals Program.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
SNAP and FDPIR State or local agencies, and their sub recipients, must post the following Nondiscrimination Statement:
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
By signing the parental agreement you are acknowledging you have receive a copy of the 2023 Summer Camp Parent/Guardian handboook and have read and fully understand and will abide by the content within.
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