SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Kids make memories for a lifetime at sleep-away camp, if their families can send them. Dozen of kids in Schenectady got the chance thanks to the community and the police department working together.
It was an afternoon of big hugs and smiles from ear to ear after many kids were reunited with their parents after two weeks away at camp.
“It was really amazing, we got to learn new things, like I never knew how to play soccer and now I learned,” said Trinity Pedro.
Trinity Pedro, her three siblings and nearly 30 other children got the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the YMCA’s Camp Chingachgook in Lake George this summer. Tricia Pedro says as a mother of 8 they are forever grateful.
“We would have never been able to do this. So we are so happy to have the opportunity to do this especially for our four kids,” said Tricia Pedro.
This opportunity was a result of an unique partnership between the Capital District YMCA, Boys Day Out, the Working Group on Girls of Schenectady and the Schenectady Police Department. The program was made possible through a donation by Neil Golub that funded the students’ opportunity to attend camp.
“It was important to get kids when they are young enough and give them an opportunity to experience life. We wanted them to have a real good life experience like going to the YMCA camp,” said Golub.
Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford says it was a chance to start building relationships with kids at a young age.
“We want to start teaching them to be leaders and what better way to do it then to send them to a leadership camp. This camp is a place that teaches them life skills,” said Chief Clifford.
It was an opportunity for kids to get some fresh air, exercise and having nothing but the wilderness around you.
“It is important especially for kids that grew up in a city and haven’t had the opportunity to make it in the suburbs,” said Chief Clifford.
“It was really fun because I got to learn a new experience for myself like playing soccer,” said Trinity Pedro.
Two teachers from the Schenectady City School District, along with the Schenectady Police Department helped CDYMCA connect with families and identify children who could benefit from the camping experience.