The people of the Kennett Run: Emily Thomas
● By J. Chambless
Emily Thomas supervises several programs for young people at the Kennett Square YMCA.
By John Chambless
The 27th annual Kennett Run will be held on May 14 in Kennett Square, and the Chester County Press will be on hand with complete coverage of the annual event. In the weeks leading up to the race, we will be focusing on a few of the many people whose dedication to the Kennett Square community has helped make the Kennett Run more than just a race. This week, we sit down with Emily Thomas, the director of the Kennett YMCA's Camp, Sports, Teens, Arts and Humanities and Enrichment Programs.
What is your professional background
leading up to taking this position at the YMCA?
I am a New York State certified English teacher and worked as a camp director for six years at a residential camp in upstate New York. In that time, I was introduced to the YMCA and I decided to relocate for this job. I currently supervise multiple departments at the Kennett Y including Camp, Sports, Teens, Arts and Humanities and Enrichment Programs. I have been with the YMCA for three years now, and the best part about my job is making an impact in my community.
Where do you live, and what do you like about this area?
I currently reside in Kennett Township and absolutely love this area. Kennett Square is a beautiful community with a lot of fun things to do. I enjoy visiting Longwood Gardens and walking my dog at the local parks.
What is the increase in the number of children using the Y in the summer compared to the other times of the year? How many children are you expecting this summer?
We offer a variety of youth programs each season, including school-aged childcare at eight local schools, swim lessons, Montessori, enrichment programs and sports. The Kennett Area YMCA Summer Camp is an 11-week program and we will have about 2,500 campers this summer. It's been exciting to see our camp grow over the past few years.
It's been said that prisoners get more outdoor time than the average child these days. How does the YMCA summer program attempt to change that?
Summer Camp at the Kennett Y is all about outdoor play, exploring, trying new things and being active! Most of our camp programs are outside, where kids are not connected to technology. Campers will learn new skills, build confidence and interact with their peers in a fun and safe environment. I often hear from parents that their child is tired by the end of the camp day. That's when I know I've done my job!