In addition to full privilege memberships, each Tuesday evening from October through April, children in 1st -7th grade are transported by YMCA buses to the YMCA for physical activities, fellowship, mentoring and Christian education. At the conclusion of the evening’s activities these children are then transported back to their neighborhoods.
During the summer months these children are transported to the YMCA’s Sam’s Summer Day Camp site for eight full weeks of camping activities. This program involves weekly trips to various points of interest as well as special theme weeks such as Character Counts Camp, Music Camp, 4-H Camp, Olympic Camp, Wet and Wild Camp, Adventure Week, Good News Camp and Sports Week.
These activities are provided to the children at no charge, due to the generosity of the YMCA’s Partners with Youth donors. The YMCA also offers membership privileges to 13-19 year-old underprivileged youth. Income verification is required for program participation.
History of the YMCA Sam's Program
The Chambersburg YMCA's Sam's Program started in 1956 when Ernest "Sam" Kessinger - a local grocery store owner- asked a profound question, "Is the YMCA for everyone?"
YMCA General Secretary Gordon Tuttle answered emphatically, "Yes!" to Sam's question. For it was always intended that the YMCA would be open to all - no qualifications are required except an interest in the association’s common goals.
This unique collaboration between the Y and our community benefactors, Partners with Youth, has enabled the YMCA to make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of children by providing annual, full privilege YMCA membership to at-risk youth. Additionally, the YMCA Sam's Program provides activities that promote healthy development of their mind, body and spirit.