Summer camps are a good way to help kids avoid what teachers refer to as “summer slide,” or loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer holidays. This summer the Rohnert Park Recreation Department has two new offerings that will keep kids’ brains sharp and engaged, and of course having fun.
The new offerings are Preschool Storybook Camp and a teen excursion camp called Camp 101.
The Preschool Storybook Camp offers children as young as 3 a chance to enjoy a half day of fun and learning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Each week is based on a favorite preschool book with corresponding crafts, games and activities, with special emphasis on the importance of sharing and caring. Camps start the week of July 17 and run through the week of August 7.
Camp 101 offers all-day field trips for 11- to 14-year-olds three days per week. Each week is filled with excursions like Great America, Waterworld, canoeing on the Russian River, San Francisco Giants games and more.
The camp allows teens to have fun while learning how to be responsible for themselves and others. “This camp is really great because the teens are not on a tight leash,” says Nelle Herman, community services supervisor at the Rohnert Park Community Services Department. “They may go off at each location with a buddy and must come back to the pre-determined location on time. It teaches them responsibility.”
Every day begins and ends at the Rohnert Park Community Center. Tickets, materials and transportation costs are all included in the registration fees. Camps begin the week of June 13 and run through the week of August 8.
Camp Burton is an old favorite that has run for over 15 years at Burton Avenue Recreation Center. This is a traditional day camp geared toward 5- to 10-year-olds with themed arts and crafts, swim days at Benicia pool and more. A new addition this year is Friday fun days with jump houses and a barbeque. For an extra cost, parents can choose to include swim lessons in the regular camp program.
“Since it is so close to Benicia pool, a staffer can walk the camper over to the pool for the swim lessons,” says Herman. “Also this year we’re offering half-day options in addition to the normal 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. schedule. The half-day can either be a morning or afternoon session.” Camp Burton is open now and runs through the week of August 7.
The recreation department is also offering specialty camps including fencing, engineering, basketball, soccer and multi-sport camps.
“For kids who are too old for camp but too young for a summer job, we also offer a ‘leader-in-training’ program for 12- to 16-year-olds,” says Herman. “The teens learn basic job training and work as volunteers at Camp Burton.”
There are also many swim programs available, from classes for 6-month-olds to endurance and technique training, all the way up to a junior lifeguard program. The recreation department is also offering a new water aerobics class this year for adults. For more information, visit www.rpcity.org.