YMCA continues programming efforts in Greencastle

January 09, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - So far it's only the kids who have been able to enjoy YMCA programs in the Greencastle-Antrim area, but someday, perhaps in the next three to four years, a full-fledged YMCA program, complete with its own building, may be a reality.

In the meantime, programs for Greencastle-area children will continue to be run and improve, said Nathan Esser, youth program director for the YMCA in Waynesboro, Pa.

"It's my job to develop a program for Greencastle, as well as develop a need for a program there," Esser said.


YMCA officials in Waynesboro have been working on establishing a program in Greencastle since 1993.

Many of the youth programs set up in Greencastle mirror those already existing in Waynesboro.

One of the more popular is the summer day camp. Run with cooperation from the Antrim Township Supervisors and the Greencastle Borough Council, the YMCA runs the program at area parks, including Martin's Mill Bridge, the new Antrim Township Park on Grant Shook Road and the Jerome R. King Playground in Greencastle.

The day camp moves inside at Manitou in wet weather.

The camp is separated into two age groups - 5 to 8 and 9 to 12.

Registration for the 2004 camp begins Jan. 17.

Equally popular with the kids is the YMCA Summer Playground. In Greencastle, it's held at the Jerome R. King Playground. Activities include bowling, roller skating, swimming, field trips and miniature golf.

Registration for that program will be June 14 and 16.

Again this year, the YMCA will host youth volleyball on Saturday mornings at the Greencastle-Antrim Primary School for ages 6 through sixth-graders, Esser said. Fliers about the program are available in the schools. The YMCA's sport of the month indoor intramural program, for middle school students who either didn't make a school team or who didn't sign up, is offered at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School.

Esser said it's for ages 6 to 8. Games include indoor soccer, floor hockey and basketball. Plans are to expand to an outdoor sports program in the spring.

Students sign up for the intramural program in their homerooms.

The ultimate goal is to build a YMCA for the Greencastle area, one of the fastest-growing parts of Franklin County.

Esser said YMCA officials in Waynesboro are eyeing a 10-acre slice of the 49 acres that the Greencastle-Antrim School Board bought in January 2002 across Leitersburg Street from its Tayamentasachta Environmental Learning Center as a possible site for a YMCA in the Greencastle area.

So far, the YMCA only has about $200,000 toward that goal, he said. That money came from the donation of the former Greencastle Metal Works property on Pa. 16 west of Greencastle. YMCA officials sold the property with the agreement that the YMCA could maintain an office in the building.

Richard Marks, executive director of the Waynesboro YMCA, has said that a full-fledged YMCA like the one in Waynesboro, with a gymnasium and pool, would cost around $4 million.

The new YMCA in Hagerstown cost more than $8 million.

Waynesboro has had a YMCA since 1915.

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