Last summer, Tristan Chiles met her best friend at YMCA Summer Day Camp, giving the 7-year-old even more reason to want to come back.
This is her third year taking part in the camp, which is at the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church this year.
But camp coordinators had to move it this year due to construction at the school.
Since coming to day camp, Chiles said she enjoys not only the learning process, but also the fun time.
"You get to dance and play games," she said.
Jackson Township Elementary School teacher Pam Fischer has coordinated the camp for six years. She is also responsible for the tutoring sessions that take place.
"When I came in, I brought the tutoring program," Fischer said, "and it has grown by leaps and bounds."
Fischer said teachers within the Clay Community School Corporation helped put together the tutoring program, which is based on Indiana standards.
The camp runs daily from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. When children come to the church, they are immediately offered breakfast.
From there, there is a brief activity period before students are tutored from 8:30-11 a.m.
After lunch, students then have the option of either playing at the Forest Park playground or swimming.
"We offer choices for the kids," Fischer said. "We let them make their own choices. We really encourage the outdoor activities."
Fischer added members of First Christian Church provide transportation to and from the park.
After the children arrive back at the camp, they are given a snack before going through game playing, art instruction and silent reading time.
She said sometimes it's difficult to get the children to want to go home.
"When the kids leave at night, sometimes they aren't ready to leave yet," she said. "Sometimes, the parents have to leave and then come back."
According to Fischer, there are four principle values the camp hopes to instill in the children, including honesty, caring, responsibility and respect.
"We offer perseverance," Fischer said. "Never give up. The kids learn values."
Fischer is the co-director with Becky Sinclair. In addition, there are 23 staffers who volunteer.
Currently, there are 110 children taking advantage of the day camp, but Fischer said on a normal day, at least 60 are in attendance.
"We're prepared to handle more if they come," Fischer said.
Approximately 75 percent of the children in the camp are there on scholarship through the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
Without a scholarship, cost is $77 per week if the child is a member of the YMCA. Cost for non-members is $92.
For children who come to the camp on a part-time basis, cost is $44 for non-members and $38 for YMCA members. Part-time is considered two days per week.
This year, Fischer said the weeks were broken down into themes, including: Problem Solving Week, Discovering Science Week, Going Green Week, Talent Showcase Week, Stars and Stripes Week, Global Week, Olympic Week, Hobby Week, Writer's Week, Career Week, and Back to the Future Week.
Throughout the summer, staffers take the children on field trips as well.
"It's the one thing that I look forward to all year long," Fischer said of the camp. "We're a family for the summer.