Sara Biancofiori: YMCA Camps Important to Childhood Development

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Guest speaker Sara Biancofiori, Associate Executive Director for the Coal Creek Family YMCA spoke about how YMCA camps play an important part in childhood development.

YMCA's Sara Biancofiori

Newcastle Chamber of Commerce Lunch attendees relived camp memories. 

Newcastle Chamber Members may have felt as though they were back at camp when Sara Biancofiori passed out sunglasses to get lunch attendees in a “camp’ frame of mind. Biancofiori’s presentation was humorous and interesting – just like a good story told around a campfire.

Biancofiori  began with how she came to the Seattle area with her not-so great (but she thought it was snappy at the time) rolling suitcase from J.C. Penney.  From her arrival to Seattle she was told she would be getting on a ferry to Camp Orkila – where she learned her outfits didn’t compare well to her new fleece-wearing co-workers. She then shared real stories of success, including her “first camper” who grew to be a great young man who now attributes his success to YMCA camps.

Biancofiori walked Chamber lunch guests through the top 10 ways  Camps can help kids grow smarter brains.”

YMCA Camps help kids:

  1. Reduce learning loss. Camp keeps the brain active.
  2. Make true friends.
  3. Reconnect with nature. Kids get back outside.
  4. Learn  more social skills. Camp builds teamwork
  5. Grow more independent. Camp helps kids develop who they are.
  6. Develop life-long skills.
  7. Unplug from technology.
  8. Gain resiliency. Camp helps conquer fears.
  9. Experience success and become more self-confident.
  10. Spend days being physically active. Camp is action.

Want to find a YMCA Camp close to you? YMCA camp locator.


YMCA Newcastle Chamber LunchYMCA Newcastle Chamber of Commerce LunchLunch Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, YMCAYMCA Sara Biancofiori

From the YMCA:

  • Students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.
  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math computation skills over the summer.
  • Many children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight twice as fast in the summer as during the school year.
  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.

Thanks to the YMCA for the generous door prize of a year-long family membership at the YMCA! Chamber member Katie Salinas was the happy winner.

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YMCA Lunch Speaker/Sponsor


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