• 61°

Time for summer rec youth programs — sports, cheer, dance and cooking scheduled

If it can be swatted, hit, kicked, thrown, dribbled, painted, choreographed or cooked up into a nice meal, the Brookhaven Recreation Department can teach it.

Sign-ups are ongoing for the department’s summer activities, with more than a dozen youth programs focused on sports, training and skill-building. Some go all summer, some are week-long events and some last just a day, but the programs are designed to cast a broad net and appeal to all types of children with all types of interests, said department director Matt Shell.

“There’s nothing worse than a kid sitting at home looking at a TV all day during the summer,” he said. “Involvement in activities keeps them healthy, mentally and physically. We need our kids starting out young getting involved, and the more you diversify, the more they find things they love.”

Three programs have registrations ending this week, and they are dependent upon sign-ups. Tennis lessons for children age 8 and up, summer youth art camp for children in grades three through six and the popular science camp — an educational program which takes place over four days, June 25-28 — are all facing deadlines on Thursday.

The department’s youth cooking classes will be held June 11-14, and registration fees will include simple cooking tools and molds, like miniature pie pans and pancake molds, children can take home and reuse. 

The summer gymnastics camp is for children age 3 and up, and takes place over the week of June 11-15. The summer dance workshop is June 18-20.

The department’s new British Soccer Camp — a week-long coaching clinic taught by British soccer experts from Challenger Sports — is June 18-22. The camp is designed to teach culture and character-building alongside soccer technique.

A three-day cheer clinic is set for June 19-21. Summer ballet camp, for ages 4 and up, is from July 23-26.

Some of the department’s programs are still in flux, and final dates have not been set. A basic sign language camp is planned for sometime next month, as is a “tot” cheer camp and a boys’ boot camp. A summer basketball camp is also planned for July.

Costs vary from camp to camp. Many, such as summer boot camp, are $45. Others are more expensive, depending on materials and coaching fees.

“All of our programs are paid programs. When we’re partnering with instructors, we do it on a split with them,” Shell said. “Generally, around $50 is the average. The free activities are all in the parks — basketball and tennis courts, spray parks. If you don’t have any spare money, there are always activities in the parks.”

Registration forms and pricing information can be obtained by calling the recreation department at 601-833-3791, and the list of summer activities is online at brookhavenrecreation.com.