Increased Support Without Increased Price: YMCA of Greater Brandywine Expands Adaptive Summer Camp for Children with Disabilities

A YGBW camp counselor draws on a whiteboard with a camper at BumbleBee Day Camp at the Upper Main Line Branch in Berwyn during the summer of 2023.

BumbleBee Day Camp Offered in Coatesville, Berwyn and Jennersville

(West Chester, PA) – The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) prides itself on being accessible to all in the community and eliminating financial barriers for children, families and seniors across the county. The expansion of BumbleBee Day Camp, the organization’s adaptive summer camp, is a shining example of their mission in action.

Launched last summer at the Upper Main Line branch in Berwyn, BumbleBee Day Camp provides the quintessential summer experience to children with disabilities, offering traditional camp activities such as swimming, field games, arts and crafts and more – with two key differences.

BumbleBee Day Camp offers a higher level of staff support as compared to traditional day camps and counselors are specially trained to support children with disabilities. Despite the increased and specialized support, the price remains the same as traditional day camps offered by YGBW.

Investing in Support for the Adaptive Community
“For every three campers enrolled in BumbleBee Day Camp, we provide one camp counselor, who has experience supporting children with disabilities,” explains Erin Lacotta, Association Director of Behavior Support & Adaptive Programs. “While the ratio in our traditional day camps varies by age, the average ratio is eight campers per counselor. We’ve more than doubled the support for BumbleBee Day Camp.”

“What’s truly remarkable is that we have not raised the price, despite the higher level of support,” she continues. “We understand how many barriers there are for children with disabilities. We want to ease burdens and not contribute to them.”

In a world of rising costs, how is this possible?

YGBW relies on the generosity of donors to contribute to their Financial Assistance program. 100% of every dollar donated helps families afford vital Y services like summer camp, child care, swim lessons and more. In addition, YGBW welcomes local organizations who wish to sponsor specific programs. In 2023, Team Toyota of Glen Mills sponsored Adaptive Programs at YGBW.

YGBW’s annual campaign is underway. You can donate to help local families attend summer camp at the Y.

Expansion of BumbleBee Day Camp and Adaptive Programs
BumbleBee Day Camp will be offered in three locations for the summer of 2024 – Coatesville, Berwyn and Jennersville. Registration is now open, and spots are available.

Not only is YGBW expanding the number of branches hosting BumbleBee Day Camp this summer, the organization also recently expanded the number and location of Adaptive Programs across Chester County.

Adaptive Programs at YGBW serve youth and adults with developmental delays in disabilities. Adaptive Programs for youth include swim, dance, gymnastics, LEGO club, SNAPshot Sports and more. Adaptive Programs for adults include Swim, Pickleball, Small Group Personal Training in partnership with Empower U Specialty Fitness and Open Doors, a social group.

“The focus of Adaptive Programs is never what someone can’t do but rather what they can do,” Lacotta says. “While respecting the diverse abilities of our members, we honor, support and enhance their abilities. It is joyful to support the growth of all in the community.”

“When we say all members, we truly mean all,” comments Bertram L. Lawson II, President & CEO of YGBW.

“We don’t turn away anyone based upon age, race, gender, abilities or financial means. What we do inside our walls has a positive ripple effect that extends outside our doors and into the communities we serve.”

About Summer Camp at YGBW:

Adaptive Programs at YGBW:

Donate to YGBW’s Financial Assistance Program:

Category: Press