Island camps to hold summit 

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The YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard announced in a press release it will be partnering with King Inclusion Consulting, the Island Disability Coalition, and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) Family Support Center to hold the first annual “All Kids Thrive: Island Camp Summit” on Thursday, June 23. The summit will take place all day at the YMCA in Oak Bluffs.

According to the release, the summit will “bring Island camps together to collaborate and focus on inclusion at camp, and strengthening the Island’s childcare landscape.”

Rachel Serwa, YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard development and marketing coordinator, told The Times this summit has been in the works for months. All of the camps on the Island were invited, but they needed to register to participate. 

Serwa hopes participants will be able to bring what they learn about inclusion, alongside other topics, back to their respective camps. “We’re just hoping it can be a day everyone can learn and develop their skills,” Serwa said. 

The summit will have two presenters, King Inclusion Consulting’s Kat King and Children’s Cove Child Advocacy Center community engagement and education coordinator Jacob Stapleton, during the summit. Meanwhile, YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard director of program operations Kelly Neadow and Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary education coordinator and camp director Josey Kirkland will be facilitating a session on camp songs, games, and community builders. 

Camps from YMCA, Felix Neck, Sense of Wonder, Chilmark Community Center, and Vineyard Playhouse will be participating in the summit, which is fully funded by a grant from MVCS. Serwa said the plan is to make the summit an annual event, and she hopes more camps will register next year.

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