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Rye YMCA Summer Camp Provides Fun For Harrison Kids

RYE, N.Y. -- It was the first day of summer camp but veteran counselor Stephanie Sherry knew what she was doing, having worked this job for three summers before."You're either good with kids or you aren't," said Sherry. "You have to be good with kids to do this job."

The Rye Y Summer Camp at the Osborn School started Monday, and will go until August 18. It is open five days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and accommodates around 450 children, ages four to 11 who come from Rye, Harrison, Mamaroneck and Larchmont.

The children are divided up into smaller groups of 15 to 25, which are given names like the "Laughing Llamas" and the "Garden Gnomes."

The groups spend the day rotating through various activities like arts and crafts, swimming at the Y, science and nature workshops and team games. Special events are also planned including visiting circus performers and "the human board game," where Osborn School's grass field becomes a life-size version of Cranium.

Each group has several counselors, as well as volunteer counselors-in-training. There are a total of 111 staff members at the summer camp’s Osborn School location.

"We have a high staff to child ratio, which allows us to really focus on building relationships between counselors and children within the smaller groups," said camp director Scott Umbel.Umbel said most of the counselors are either in college or college-bound. Sherry grew up in Rye Brook and just finished her second year at Skidmore College in Saratoga where she is majoring in theater. She credits her acting experience as part of what makes her suited for the job.

"You really have to perform for these kids," she said. "It's nice to have them all day as an audience."

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