Culver City Parks and Recreation and Y.S.E. make a winning combination
August 24, 2023
The summer is almost over, and last week summer camp ended for the Culver City Parks and Recreation Program but for most of the kids in the Culver City summer camps the memories will last forever. You can tell when a summer camp is successful because the kids are making a lot of noise. The kids were loud at the Culver City camps.
All the summer camps in the Culver City Parks and Recreation were successful but the Youth Sports Enrichment (Y.S.E.) summer camp offered something a little different than the rest of the camps. The camp offered over 10 different sports and games for kids 5 to 15 years old.
The program offered a variety of fitness and sports programs. Some of the sports that were available to the kids were basketball, flag football, soccer, softball, dodge ball, kick ball, ultimate frisbee and capture the flag. "We run programs where the kids can learn a variety of sports as well as learning the foundation of sports, sportsmanship and education," said Y.S.E. Director DJ Vincent during a phone interview last Monday night.
"We also help the younger kids with their motor skills," said Vincent. "We try to keep the kids active. We teach the younger kids things like how to dribble a basketball."
The program combined the skills of a veteran recreation staff with a dedicated program director and that's what made it work. Led by Parks and Recreation General Manager, Armando Abrego and supervisor, Francisca Castillo and coordinator, Jacob Blake the department teamed up with Y.S.E. Director Vincent and created a magnificent sports camp.
"A lot of park people helped out, but Francisca really stepped up to try to help Y.S.E. bring all the programs together," said Vincent. "She did a great job. We all have the same common goal and purpose. We are all one at the end of the day. The Department and I have plans to try to keep building more programs. We are trying to branch out and provide more activities for the kids. There is room for everyone.
"The goal is to keep the program going strong for another 10 to 15 years and make this an everlasting program for the Culver City community," said Vincent. "It's a rewarding feeling because we have kids from different backgrounds that come together. They are learning to speak instead of being in front of the television set or on their cell phones all day. It's giving them that courage and the tools they need to be able to thrive in life. That's what makes it great."
Vincent founded the Y.S.E. program 10 years ago and he is also the Culver City Middle School basketball coach and the assistant Culver City High School basketball coach. "I thought why not create something Culver City did not have. They never had a big sports camp and now they do."