Welcoming New Friends From China

Everybody knows the Y is incredible at bringing members of the community together by giving them somewhere to work out, hang out, and bring their kids. But not a lot of people know we also bring people together from across the world!

This past summer marked the second consecutive year where children from China enjoyed a weeklong stay at Camp Whittle with kids from our LA Ys. From July 26 to August 2, 15 Chinese students joined campers from the East Valley and West Valley Family YMCAs, taking part in countless camp activities, from the ropes course to archery, hiking, swimming, biking, arts and crafts, and even horseback riding.

Following camp, the kids sent our branches a beautiful and heartwarming thank you note. They wrote, “The days we spent in the YMCA are the greatest time of our life.” It was clear they were thankful for this experience, and hopeful that they would get to return again next year for more adventures and fun.

This program exemplifies our commitment to youth development and social responsibility. By bringing kids together that would most likely never have the chance to meet also underscores our unique ability to bridge communities.

It is truly beautiful to see students with incredibly diverse backgrounds, upbringings and languages come together to form friendships. We know these special experiences are important character-building moments in the life of a child.

Reflecting on the success of our program, Executive Director of our East Valley Family Y, David Hartmire said, “We hope to be able to continue this program with more and more students for years to come. It is wonderful to see how much of a positive impact this experience has on not only our guests from China, but on the campers from our very own community!”

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