Bridge4Youth: Summer Camps … For Bridge!
By Alex J. Coyne © May 2023
“Summer camps” can be one of the best ways to encourage kids in their chosen niche, and Bridge4Youth has the answer to where card-playing kids in Seattle and online might want to find themselves during the August months. What about a sumer camp…that’s just about bridge?
We caught up with Ann Romeo from Bridge4Youth to find out more.
What Does Bridge4Youth Offer?
- Online Classes [Beginning & Intermediate]
- Bimonthly Face-to-Face Bridge Class [For Parents & Kids]
- Bridge4Youth Summer Camp [2 Weeks]
- Weekly Bridge Games [Seattle University District]
- SharkBridge [As Preferred Platform]
What is Bridge4Youth?
Bridge4Youth (B4Y) is “a volunteer organization dedicated to teaching kids how to play bridge”, says Ann Romeo.
“We believe this can be accomplished using a variety of tools and techniques, including online teaching and games, F2F teaching, and local games and tournaments.”
“We’re a a Washington-based 5013C nonprofit, with a mandate to teach kids in the Pacific Northwest.”
Most of their focus is on the Greater Seattle Area, although Ann also points out that the group often shares ideas with other bridge-related youth initiatives from all over the country.
Bridge4Youth welcomes ages 8 to 18, though Ann says that “middle-schoolers” are often the best group to target as new bridge players. Bridge requires concentration, which can sometimes be difficult for the youngest players.
The program offers online [and offline] bridge instruction, live games, and a Summer Camp for youth bridge players in Seattle and surrounds.
One of the best reasons to attend is their emphasis on safety. “Bridge4Youth takes child safety very seriously. We vet all the board members, and anyone who instructs kids (online or face-to-face) for security reasons.” Further, they also require a standard of two supervising adults for both virtual and face-to-face games.
“We have a designated security officer, and a set of security rules.”
The Bridge4Youth program is also sponsoring a group of kids at the Youth NABCs in Chicago: why stop there?
“We believe what we are doing can be replicated in other areas, and would love to talk to others to help them do similar programs.”
Bridge4Youth & Online Bridge Classes
Online bridge lessons are presented through the platform Shark, which Ann says is advantageous for its bridge-playing focus. “It allows us to present a topic via Zoom, while the students work through practice boards.”
While an online class might forego some of the social interaction of a physical class, there are other advantages to the virtual bridge table. “It allows each student to focus on the specific topic that we’re working on. It’s also a safe, controlled session environment – something that can be more difficult to achieve on open bridge playing platforms.”
Bridge4Youth Summer Camps
Bridge4Youth hosts exciting youth bridge summer camps, targeted to kids who’d like to meet new players – and, well, learn how to duel with their cards.
Camps were always held face-to-face, but the COVID-pandemic allowed Bridge4Youth camps to expand into the internet.
“We’ve had up to 60 kids per year from the United States and Canada attend our online camp, from Toronto and New Jersey, to Texas, Illinois, Michigan and California.”
The in-person day camp, says Anne, has attracted kids from Oregon, Eastern Washington, and Idaho, but the majority are from the Greater Seattle area.
“This year (2023), we’re offering two separate weeks of camp – both costing $150.00 each.”
The first week takes place online: “This targets kids who have some bridge experience, either through B4&, BridgeWhiz, or home-schooled.”
“The focus will be common conventions that all should know, and there will be plenty of opportunity to play every day.”
• August 7 to 11
• 10:00 to 3:00 Pacific Time [with lunch-break]
• Instructors include Al Bender & Bruce Pynonnen
• 9:00 to 3:00 Pacific Time [with lunch-break]
• For beginners and advanced players
• Instructors include David Dailey & Jim Rasmussen, with assistance from Ann Romeo and Rui Gong
• Mentorship from B4Y graduates
A Special Thanks to B4Y Donors & Teachers
A last message from Ann Romeo & Bridge4Youth:
“Our funding has come from a variety of sources, including local donations, grants from the ACBL Ed Fund, and donations from both Seattle Unit 446 and District 19. But, at its core, B4Y relies on our volunteer teachers, assistants, coaches, and mentors, all of whom come from our generous Bridge community in the Greater Seattle area.”
Related page on Great Bridge Links
Youth and Junior Bridge – upcoming events, fun links and more.