Healthy Kids Day Saturday at Marietta’s YMCA

As the promise of summer draws near, the Marietta Family YMCA is planning a day of community fun in hopes of encouraging youth to keep their minds and bodies active during those sometimes lazy summer days.

The YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Y on Seventh Street. This year’s event offers a variety of unique activities that will hopefully inspire families to stay busy this summer, said Suzy Zumwalde, executive director of the Marietta Family YMCA.

“We need to keep kids active, both mind and body,” she said.

This year’s event will feature past favorites, such as laser tag and obstacle courses. It will also include an exciting new underwater challenge. The Y will be hosting The AquaGym, a Columbus-based scuba class, said Zumwalde.

“We’re trying to do things they don’t normally have an opportunity to do,” she said.

Both children and adults can participate in the two-hour sessions. The earliest session starts at 9 a.m. and the last session starts at 3 p.m. Participants will be trained in the use of the scuba gear and then have a chance to participate in a variety of underwater games, said Zumwalde.

While the rest of Healthy Kids Day is free, the two-hour scuba experience does require a fee-$20 for Y members and $30 for non-members.

The scuba session provides quite a workout, said AquaGym owner and dive instructor Dave Smith.

Children wearing calorie counting devices have burned an average of 300 calories in their 90 minutes in the water, he said.

But an active body is only half of the equation. Studies have shown that students who do not engage in learning activities during the summer fall behind academically.

For that reason and many others, the Washington County Public Library offers its summer reading program. The library will be on hand at Healthy Kids Day giving out information on that program, said Kate Maxon, library assistant.

“This summer is a science theme-Fizz, Boom, Read-and we’re going to have a lot of science-related activities,” she said.

The library offers a program for preschoolers and a program for school age children up to 12 years old, Maxon said.

Students of any age are eligible to win prizes by tracking how many books they read over the summer, she added.

Also on hand for Healthy Kids Day will be representatives from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Memorial Health System, Origami Owl, The Right Path for Washington County and many more, said YMCA childcare director Trish Stille.

Many vendors will be offering door prizes and activities, she added.

Pre-registration for scuba sessions is recommended and can be done by contacting the Y at 373-2250.

Saturday the Y’s joiner fee will also be waived, meaning new members can save up to $60 when joining the Y.