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Massive revenue decline sees YMCA reconsider offering New Zealand summer camps

Massive revenue decline sees YMCA reconsider offering New Zealand summer camps
June 18, 2020

With the YMCA in New Zealand having experienced a 95% drop in revenue over recent months, reports suggest that it is considering not staging the summer camps that is held over the past 164 years.

Having been forced to cut most of its casual staff during the Coronavirus lockdown, news website Stuff has reported that over 53,000 children will miss the “coming-of-age” opportunity.

Edmund Hillary School principal Kataraina Nock said 80 students from the decile one school attended Camp Adair, in south Auckland, last year in what was a “life-changing” experience.

Nock stated that the camps offer “a level of education … you can’t really get in any other setting.

“It (is) important … that we have that outside the classroom opportunity for all our children, because the value of what they gain from that experience will probably stay with them for life.”

Camp Adair is one of six summer camps YMCA runs across the nation that could face closure due to significant financial losses over the Coronavirus lockdown period.

YMCA New Zealand national Chief Executive Chris Knol was reported by Stuff as saying all camps were at risk and there was a possibility some would have to close.

Knol advised “it’s quite clear at the moment that there is going to have to be some reduction in order to sustain the YMCA through the next six to 10 months.

“We've suffered losses in the millions and in some places we've had to let go of all of our casual staff.”

Knol said summer camps provided an opportunity for children to challenge themselves and discover their limits, noting “YMCA has always had outdoor and active recreation as a key component of the services we offer for young people.

"All of those things are just as important for young people as being in a classroom in many ways.”

Nock said the closure of camps would deny children a necessary part of their education, adding “camp offers the opportunity to learn physical activities that can add to child's skill base, and even the practise of eating food around a table and sleeping in cabins with friends is important.

“If we cannot give children, especially from decile one schools, the experience of attending camp and engaging in activities outside the classroom, we are not meeting the requirements of a wholistic approach to their education."

New Zealand's first YMCA was founded in Auckland in 1855.

Image: Camp Adair, courtesy of Facebook/YMCA.

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