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USA Raft partners with Unicoi County Family YMCA for teen summer program

Staff Reports

A summer program aimed at helping Unicoi County teens develop leadership skills and much more is set to kick off May 18.

The Unicoi County Family YMCA has developed the HYPE Summer Program for teens ages 12 to 17.

HYPE stands for Helping Youth Pursue Excellence, and this program does just that. This summer, teens will be able to take part in engaging opportunities while learning about leadership, the outdoors, community service and more.

Throughout this summer season, teens will have the chance to participate in activities such as hiking, conservation efforts, outdoor education, swimming, rafting, caving and camping. This program is made possible by a local partnership with USA Raft Adventure Resort located on Jones Branch Road in Erwin. The resort strives to provide state-of-the-art outdoor activities to residents of the area.
“We are excited to work with our local Y,” USA Raft CEO Matt Moses told The Erwin Record.
“For decades we have hosted summer camp programs for the Y and similar organizations from all over the country, but it is much more satisfying to work within our community,” Moses said. “There is so much beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities here and to share that with local teens is exactly the passion that drives us.”

HYPE will take place three times a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Starting date for the program is Tuesday, May 18. Those interested can access registration at the front desk of the Y or register online at

Financial assistance is available; organizers insist that no teen will be turned away due to the ability to pay.

For more information, email Emily White, HYPE director, at [email protected]