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Summer Youth Connection

Kids signed up for Summer Youth Connection, a free summer camp hosted by Huntington along with other groups and nonprofits. Photo by A.J. Carter

Huntington Town is kicking off its second year of the Summer Youth Connection, a variety of free educational and recreational activities for kids in the community.

Started last year by Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D), the camp runs five evenings a week through Aug. 19

More than 200 teenagers participated last year, and this summer Edwards said she is hoping to reach at least 300 kids enrolled. This camp is presented in conjunction with Suffolk County and a multitude of corporate, not-for-profit partners and volunteers.

“Summer Youth Connection is a remarkable cooperative effort encompassing government, not-for-profit groups, companies and community volunteers to help keep our youth engaged in positive activities during what could be a long, hot summer,” Edwards said at the opening ceremony last week. “I thank all of the participating groups and individuals, with a special thank you to the South Huntington school district for hosting us.”

The summer camp offers programs spanning from basketball and golf to creative writing, photography and robotics.

“Summer Youth Connection is a remarkable cooperative effort encompassing government, not-for-profit groups, companies and community volunteers”
— Tracey Edwards

Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) encouraged the kids to try an activity that is new to them.

“You are going to have so much fun,” she said to the kids at the event. “My suggestion is to take a class of something you have never done before, so that way you can learn something new, and it will be a great and exciting experience for you.”

The camp runs from 5 to 9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. are reserved for special needs youth sport activities.

Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said he saw countless happy faces at last year’s program.

“Not every kid wants to go to camp,” he said. “They want to be in their neighborhoods. They want to be here and enjoy what we have to offer. I was here last summer. Everybody had a happy smile. Everybody was involved. Everybody was trying new things. We look forward to another great summer this year.”

Suffolk County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) said at the event that the unity and the excitement shown in the kids participating in the camp is a crucial part of a successful community.

“You are our most precious resource,” he said. “We are invested in you. This has been an extremely tough week in this country, when we look at the violence and hate and the things that try to divide us. But this room is an example of what is great about this country.”