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February 22, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Rec Center Kids Camp offers summer getaway for community children

Children+exercise+through+games+at+Kids+Camp
Children exercise through games at Kids Camp

Now that June is well underway, kids are beginning to run out of ideas to keep themselves busy during the long hot days. Luckily for parents of children ages 5 to 12, they can send their children to the University’s Kids Camp.

The camp runs for eight weeks and parents have the option to sign-up for before-care or after-care from 7:30-9 a.m. or 4-5:30 p.m., if they have obligations that prevent them from making the 9-4:00 p.m. duration. Admission costs $130 per camper for a community member, but there are discounts available for faculty members and those who enroll more than one child.

“You can still register. It’s week by week, so each week is a new session. You can register for part time or you can register for full-time,” graduate student Jeff Blumenthal said.

Most kids camp counselors are student employees at the SRC.

Safety is a top priority for the Youth and Family department of the University and they ensure there is a minimum of four counselors along with a supervisor watching the children at all times. All counselors go through a rigorous training program that lasts three days and includes backgrounds checks.

“All of our counselors are CPR and First Aid certified through the American Red Cross, so they are all certified in providing care for first aid, CPR and AED training,” Blumenthal said.

Each week of camp has a different theme ranging from fairytales to July holidays that were selected by camp counselors. Rain or shine, the counselors plan schedules for both so the children get a planned program regardless of the weather conditions.

Most of the activities are located in the rec center, but community field trips are also a part of the program.

“We will be taking field trips. Sometimes we will be going to Wintergarden Park, but for the most part we are in the rec,” senior counselor Tricia Kushen said.

Camp activities include swimming, rock wall climbing, basketball and group-oriented games that don’t create a hostile competitive environment. Classroom space is also utilized for intellectual-based games that allow kids time to rest between games.

“We keep them active, it’s not like they’re sitting at home watching TV and playing video games,” Kushen said. “ We keep them very active and a lot of them go home dead tired and ready for bed.

Although the age group is large, the campers are not split up by age or gender. Every counselor is responsible for all of the children and is not assigned a specific group. Age difference is not a concern because the kids are being given a chance to make friends with people they might not usually be around.

“I prefer the kids to be a little bit older because they understand the games a little bit better, but there’s some young ones that do just as well,” senior counselor Michael Gisana said.

The camp is a full day for most kids and parents are expected to provide their child with a lunch.

“Every Friday we have pizza and they bring their own lunch on the other days, every morning and afternoon we have a snack,” said Kushen.

Campers experience a variety of healthy living habits like proper exercise techniques, effective socializing through team games, balanced nutritional snacking and bonding with camp counselors.

“It’s just a good place for them to interact with other kids, while learning about new games and activities they can do and also making new friends,” Gisana said.

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