Future of YMCA and Warner Tully summer camps awaiting state guidance

Published 4:55 pm Friday, May 22, 2020

For years, parents have stood in early morning lines hoping to get their child registered for the YMCA’s Summer Day Camp.

But for safety measures, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, registration as well as the start date for the camp is being altered.

“We are waiting on guidance,” YMCA Executive Director Philip Doiron said. “We are waiting for direction from the state and our local government.” Dorion said they are “patiently” waiting for the go-ahead to open.

That waiting means for all those who are interested in participating in the summer day camp program, parents need to make sure the YMCA has an updated email address.

“We think the quickest and easiest way to get the word out about registration is through email,” Doiron said, so for those who have yet to submit this information to the YMCA. “In the past, online registration was not permitted, but we worked with the state and they are going to allow us to do it now probably because of social distancing. So there is not going to be a mad dash and waiting in a long line with a bunch of other people. They will be able to go online and register.”

Also, because of social distancing guidelines, the number of children who can participate will be less than in years past.

“We don’t know what that number is, but we are anticipating we will have somewhat smaller numbers,” Doiron said.

The new expansion that has been underway at the Purks YMCA is nearing completion and this, he said, could offset some of the day camp’s reduction.

“We are putting the finishing touches on this big old expansion and one of the main drivers for the development was the ability to expand day camp, so we have much greater capacity now.”

Doiron said the expansion is projected to be completed in the first week of June.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has also affected Warner Tully YMCA Summer Camp.

“Warner Tully is celebrating its 60th summer and we are having camp this year,” Doiron said. “Now, what that looks like – how many children can be involved or what kind of safety protocols we will need to follow – we don’t know yet, but we are communicating with our campers, people who have already registered and people that have registered in the past.”

Doiron again stressed the importance for parents to make sure the YMCA has an email address on file so those wanting their children to attend Warner Tully can get vital information.

“Email is their best friend,” Doiron said. “And as soon as we get their (state and local government) guidance, we will let them (the campers) know.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart