HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The YMCA revealed plans during a news conference for reopening facilities and holding day camps across the state.
The Connecticut Alliance of YMCAs shared its plans at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford at 11 a.m. on Monday.
"Kids need it," said Mark Pooler, YMCA Southington-Cheshire. "I can't think of something kids need more than summer camp right now. They are wired to be around other kids - that's not a rectangle box or an Xbox or any of these other screens. They need social time, they need social interaction, they need to get outside and be active. They need the chance to be kids again and that's what summer camps deliver."
Monday, YMCAs across the state reopened their doors for the first time since mid-March.
They closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We want to share that our facilities and programs are a place for all to feel safe, and that we have worked hard to rethink how our YMCAs and summer day camps operate in the current environment," said John Cattelan, executive director, Connecticut State Alliance of YMCAs.
Harold Sparrow, president of the CT Alliance of YMCAs and president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford, spoke about opening plans for YMCA facilities, fitness centers and day camps.
Mark Pooler, CEO of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA, shared how the organizations prepared to ensure a safe and fun experience for campers and staff at YMCA day camps.
Finally, Denise Learned, CEO of Camp Hazen YMCA, presented the impact the Connecticut YMCAs have collectively had in their communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's very exciting because I love this camp and I probably want to work here," said Brady Sheehan.
Sheehan has been going to Camp Chase for 11 years and he looks forward to seeing his camp friends.
"I am going to be happy when this is over, be very happy. I can be myself a lot more, hang out with friends and do all the fun stuff together," Sheehan said.
The CT Alliance of YMCAs is comprised of 21 YMCAs, including 36 branches and over 193 program sites, each volunteer-led and an advocate for the needs of children, families, and individuals in communities throughout Connecticut.