Recreation dept. planning summer camps

Published 5:00 am Friday, June 5, 2009

When the weather gets hot, a lot of kids head for the couchwhere they can sit in the air conditioner and play video games orwatch television.

But Brookhaven Recreation Department officials trying to givechildren other options this year.

BRD’s “Get Fit in the Park” program is a series of two-weeksummer camps that will start up on Monday, and it’s a chance forkids to get outside and do things that will keep them bothentertained and healthy, said Director Terry Reid.

“You can come to one camp or every camp,” Reid said. “We werelooking for something to do to get the kids off the street and outof the house for the summer.”

The camps will involve rotations of different activities andsports from 8 a.m. to noon every day and will also rotate intwo-week segments between four different parks.

During the summer, camps are planned for City Park, BicentennialPark, Kids Kingdom and Bethel Park. There is no charge toattend.

“We’ll be doing different things, like playing volleyball,soccer, softball and baseball,” Reid said. “We’ll have all sorts ofdifferent games, anything we can play with large groupnumbers.”

And the aim of the camps is not only to give mothers a chance tohave some free morning time, but also to get kids to delve into thepositives of exercise.

“In everything you read, people are all worried because kids aregetting fat, and we’ll get them out and exercising in the summer,in the morning when it’s a little cooler,” Reid said. “We’ll havean hour session that will be thinking games for kids that aren’tsports-oriented, but three hours out of the four will beexercise.”

Reid said officials are aiming at getting a 10-to-1child-to-counselor ratio, and that up to 80 children will beallowed to sign up per session. Children will have a light, healthysnack during the morning, but there will not be a lot of unhealthysnacks.

“This is a health deal, there’s no concessions stand,” Reidsaid. “This is for getting fit in the park in the summer when theydon’t have anything to do. This gets them out of the house to havefun, and we’ll do it every day unless it’s a rainout.”

Reid said people can call the recreation department withquestions or for more information at 601-833-3791.