YMCA Camp Copneconic named Great Grant of the Week

YMCA Camp Copneconic staff members test out the new fat tire bikes, which were purchased as part of a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. Photo provided

YMCA Camp Copneconic staff members test out the new fat tire bikes, which were purchased as part of a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. Photo provided

FLINT — The Community Foundation of Greater Flint named the YMCA of Greater Flint – Camp Copneconic its “Great Grant of the Week.”

A collaborative grant of $6,412 supported the purchase of 10 fat tire bikes, helmets, and preventative maintenance for a fleet of 42 bikes for the YMCA’s outdoor education and summer camp programs.

Funding came from the Grand Blanc Community Fund, Grand Blanc Youth Initiative Program Fund, Florence Michelson Fund of the Fenton Community Fund, and the South Lakes Youth Program Fund.

The bike program is a very popular activity at Camp Copneconic. The fat tire program seeks to increase the number of youth who know how to bike, recreate outdoors, and have an appreciation for the outdoors. Fat tire bikes, different from standard mountain bikes, have wider tires making it possible to offer biking lessons into the winter months. Biking is a great year-round activity at the local camp, which has served youth since 1915.

Mountain biking is just a small part of what happens at the camp. YMCA Camp Copneconic, located in Fenton, MI, operates on a year-round basis. During the summer, they operate day and overnight camps for kids ages 4-18. During the school year, they offer outdoor education programs for schools, as well as weekend retreats for scout troops, churches, sports teams, and more. Their curriculum for the programs spans from recreation activities like mountain biking, to environmental education classes and high adventure.

Thomas Bawden, associate executive director at the camp, explains that “mountain biking is a core element of our Outdoor Education curriculum. It not only teaches and builds skill in kids, but also gives them an opportunity to explore the 750-acre grounds at Camp Copneconic, and strives to develop an appreciation for the outdoors.” — G.G.