Library and Byrnes center team up for summer camp

Christopher Dornblaser

York County children in second through fourth grade will have an opportunity to learn about the human body during a new camp made possible through two local organizations.

The 19th Annual Celebrity Auction is held at Martin Library in York City, Sunday, March 20, 2016. York County Libraries will be partnering with the Byrnes Health Education Center to offer a summer camp for children this summer. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York County Libraries and Byrnes Health Education Center will be offering "everyBODY's story." The camp will run for three separate weeks in July, with each day of the week teaching the kids something different. The camp will be held at the Byrnes center, 515 S. George St.

How it came to be: The libraries have collaborated with the Byrnes Health Education Center before, but nothing like this, according to Paula Gilbert, director of youth services for York County Libraries. The libraries will be offering a summer reading program called "On your mark, get set, read," which is focused on health, and this camp is a way to connect to some of the topics in the reading material.

"We just decided this year to do something connected that will bring us together," Gilbert said.

Jamie Reisinger, director of education for Brynes Health Education Center, said the center had offered camps on its own in the past but attendance had dwindled over the years.

“Camps are a dying thing around here, in this area," Reisinger said. "It’s hard to get kids to sign up for camps.”

That's why the center decided to team up with York County Libraries to make this happen.

“This idea came up, and I don’t think we’ve ever tried this before. We’re hoping it's a success,” Reisinger said.

The camp: The result of the partnership is a five-day camp, where kids learn about a different part of the body each day. York County Libraries are responsible for providing the first half of each day of camp, and after lunch the Byrnes Health Education Center will be responsible for organizing the last portion of the day for the kids.

The kids will make use of the various "theaters" throughout the center that will teach them about the various parts of the body.

“Depending on that day's topic, that will dictate what theater we use or what part of the building we use,” Reisinger said.

They will do interactive activities, writing, physical activities and hands-on projects.

“They’re going to be moving and interacting and just doing a lot of activity so that they’re getting both the health and the literacy aspects," Gilbert said.

"The idea is to learn and also have fun doing it," Reisinger said.

In addition to teaching kids about the body, the activities during the camps will also help maintain reading comprehension, according to Gilbert.

How to get involved: The camp will be offered during three separate weeks, July 11 through 15, July 18 through 22 and July 25 through 29. Those interested in enrolling their children in the camp can apply at any York County library or online here. It costs $175 per person, and parents can choose to apply for a scholarship when filling out the application.

Each camp is supposed to have 20 to 25 children in second through fourth grade. It is open to any child in the county. Gilbert said if they fill up the camps, there will be a waiting list.

After this year, the organizations both hope the camp becomes an annual event.

“Boy, I'm crossing my fingers, I hope kids enjoy it, I hope they have fun,” Reisinger said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at