A local summer program offered free to economically disadvantaged youth combines physical activity and education while teaching responsible behavior. That’s a bargain for Monongalia County youth attending the National Youth Sports Program.
Hosted by West Virginia University’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, the program helps kids improve physical fitness through sports at various sites on the WVU campus. NYSP also offers a strong educational focus, and for the first time will feature model rocketry.
Campers, ages 10-16, receive free lunch and transportation. All campers must have a physical exam which is provided as a free service on camper orientation day.
“NYSP is the best kept secret in the county,” said Steve Brannon, community liaison. “The camp has been in operation for 24 years, but many people still haven’t heard of it.”
“The camp provides everything, lunch, transportation and enrichment activities thanks to generous support from WVU, Monongalia County Board of Education, City of Morgantown and some very kind community donors,” he added.
Each year, area sponsors provide help including transportation, books, backpacks, and event tickets.
“We rely on contributions from groups and individuals. We couldn’t operate without our sponsors,” said CPASS Dean and NYSP project administrator Dana Brooks.
“NYSP has served thousands of campers. We are now seeing the kids of former campers,” said Brooks. “Kids take a positive message away from the camp and use that message in their own lives.”
This summer, Brooks expects 200 campers to enroll in the program, with average daily attendance reaching 170.
The camp is a result of year-round planning, according to Brannon.
Camp activities take place at the WVU campus Shell Building, Coliseum and Natatorium. All equipment is provided at no charge to the campers. This year, campers will report on June 23 and will attend activities through July 22.
According to Brooks, NYSP needs ongoing financial support.
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CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon, CPASS