Local man helps Missoula YMCA provide summer camps for kids

Posted at 9:06 AM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 11:06:49-04

MISSOULA – Summer is finally here and with kids being out of school, parents are putting them in summer camp to keep them safe during the day.

Reporter Katie Miller recently talked with some of the people who are making the Missoula YMCA summer camps possible.

About 250 kids attend these summer camps every week.

When ALPS Corporation President and CEO David Bell was younger, he went to YMCA soccer camps in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Florida.

“The ability to be a part of those programs — and receive financial assistance to be a part of those programs — was pretty critical,” Bell recalled.

“Now, later in life, when there is an opportunity to reinvest in others it is a blessing to be able to do that,” added

ALPS is the largest legal malpractice insurance company in America and can be found in downtown Missoula. The company is also a main sponsor for the Missoula Y’s summer camps.

Missoula YMCA COO Keri McHugh says ALPS’ help makes field trips, special transportation, renovations, and academic programs possible.

“I think it’s near and dear to his heart because I think he realizes he was provided [an] opportunity as a child that he normally wouldn’t have had,” McHugh said.

Bell moved around with his mom, who’s a writer, as a child.

“I have wonderful memories of those experiences of her and I. Some of those windows of time where we had the greatest need were some of the most enjoyable and memorable points of my childhood,” he recalled.

There are six-to-eight camps offered every week at the Missoula YMCA and kids can stay from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Bell says donating money is the easy part.

“These folks are just emotionally invested in the kids, and the mission, and in making a difference, and that’s a really fun thing to be a part of.”

There are summer camp for everyone, with options that include theater, sports, culinary and crafts.

The Missoula YMCA was able to grow its Camp Imagination Library last year to counter summer reading loss.

This year, they are renovating the CampLand property with new ropes courses and a ball pit.

Click here to learn more about what the Missoula YMCA offers for summer camps.