YMCA ‘adopts’ Hobson

Published 10:59 pm Thursday, June 23, 2011

A group of Hobson youth could have a chance to attend camp this summer, thanks to the generosity of folks at Chesapeake’s Taylor Bend Family YMCA.

As part of its community outreach, the YMCA, which is located on Taylor Road, adopted the community of Hobson and is raising funds to send 24 children, ages 6 to 12, to its camp Aug. 8-12.

Kelly Bridgman, the executive director at Taylor Bend, said helping out local communities is part of the YMCA’s mission.

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“This is what the Y is about,” she said. “I think this is one thing we can do in our community.”

The organization chose the Hobson project on the advice of a member of the board of directors who lives near the village and said the program would be well received in the area.

Hobson Civic League President Tim Holland, who is helping out with the program, said many residents have expressed interest in it already.

He said he thinks the program could greatly benefit the children of Hobson, because many of them cannot participate in summer activities.

“(The camp) would give the kids something to do for the summer,” he said. “This will give them an outlet.”

Holland said the camp would expose the children to experiences they might have never encountered otherwise, such as rock climbing.

The civic league is helping spread the word about the program in the community by passing out applications at its meetings and asking people and businesses to donate to the fundraising effort.

“We’re just the manpower for it,” he said. “We’re trying to get the word out.”

In order to support the camp for a week, the YMCA needs to raise at least $8,000. Bridgman said the funds would pay for the bus transportation to and from the children’s homes, in addition to camp supplies.

She said the organization would like to provide everything the children need in order to participate, including towels and swimsuits.

The children attending the camp would be at the Y from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and take part in activities such as swimming, rock climbing, boating and outdoor games.

The campers also would go on field trips to the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth, the Virginia Beach Rock Gym and the fountains in downtown Norfolk.

Bridgman said the camp really makes a difference in the lives of the children who attend.

“They build leadership skills,” she said. “They build relationships they might not have built otherwise.”

She added the campers also learn core values, such as being kind to one another, they will use for the rest of their lives.

“I think it’s all about the kids in our community,” Bridgman said. “They need a safe place to go and have activities for the summer.”

For more information or to donate to the Hobson YMCA project, call Taylor Bend YMCA at 638-9622 and ask for Kelly Bridgman or email her directly at kbridgman@ymcashr.org.