By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: June 2011
Laneta Going and her Art Exploration camp last summer.
Most parents have experienced this scenario: your kids have longed for school to be out so they can embrace the lazy days of summer. But within a couple of weeks, the same children who complained about the daily routine of attending school are now bored and restless.
Young minds are active and always in need of stimulation, whether school is in session or not. That is why now is a great time to get your kids involved in the 2011 City of Claremore Youth Summer Camps.
“The main reason to get kids involved in activities like these is to keep them on a good solid path,” says Ron Paris of the Claremore Parks and Recreation Department. “By providing these programs, we show them there are people out there who care about them.”
Camps offered this June include Skateboard Camp (no age limit, June 2-3), Princess Camp (ages 4-7, June 6-10), Art Exploration (grades 2-5, June 6-9), Drama-Improv-Acting (grades 1-8, June 13-17), Blast Summer Camp (grades 4-8, June 20-24), Cooking Camp (ages 9-15, June 27-July 1), and Jewelry Making Camp (grades 1-8, June 27-July 1). In July, camps include Boot Camp for Girls (grades 4-8, July 6-8), “Science and Technology” with Donna Patterson from the OSU Extension Center (grades 2-7, July 7-8), Blast Summer Camp (grades 4-8, July 11-15), Young Kids 2 (ages 5-8, July 18-22), and Archery Camp (ages 9-18, July 18-22).
Concerning the “Science and Technology” Camp in July, Ron explains, “The OSU Extension Office always sends Donna Patterson, who works a lot with 4-H groups, for one camp in the summer and the kids always pack in here.” Ron reports that Donna’s camps in the past have included such topics as robotics, science experiments, and leatherworking. “She always does something unique and interesting.”
Susan Jensen of the Rogers County Volunteers for Youth handles the Skateboard Camp, and since she is the director of Blast After School Program, she organizes the Blast Camps as well. Susan reports that Blast Camps really do live up to the name. “We do all kinds of things – go to the zoo, play Laser Quest, play sports, go to the mall – and we have competitions all week long.”
For the Skateboard Camp, Susan has enlisted the help of Scott Bennett and staff from The Board Shop in Tulsa. “Scott and his staff have a passion for teaching kids not only about skateboarding, but about character development as well,” Susan says. “We are very happy to have them.” Susan also notes that this camp has no age limit, but is first come, first served, limited to the first 15 entrants per session. “However, we are doubling the amount of available slots from last year,” she adds.
Susan will also be running the Boot Camp for Girls, with the subject of “Stuff Girls Need to Know.” Subjects will include etiquette, fashion, clothing (from Maurice’s in Claremore), drug and alcohol abuse, nutrition, exercise, and age appropriate male-female relationship topics.
The Claremore Parks and Recreation Department began these summer camps in 2007 after Ron Paris came to the city as sports coordinator in 2006. “I saw a need for these camps and thought they could provide educational opportunities like other cities have,” Ron recounts. “There were already a lot of sports camps in place around town, so we decided on the arts and sciences to help provide balance – we try to reach as many kids as we can.”