Summer break can equal bored kids at home, but the City of Cotati is again offering a solution with their weekly summer camps, starting June 10 and running every week through Aug. 9.
New this year will be more time spent at Farmster on the Veronda-Falletti Ranch in Cotati where children can spend time with the animals, garden and learn about everything from composting to animal agriculture. Besides every day camp visiting the ranch, one special camp will be held entirely at Farmster on the week of July 29 and will focus exclusively on the topic of farming and ranching.
Another new focus this year is an effort to go green and teach the children about everything from composting to recycling to food rescue.
“Our city staff is working on being more green with composting and recycling, just as a general practice,” says Ashley Wilson, Recreation Manager for the City of Cotati. “We’re going to move that into our camp as well. We’re going to have a junior green team, so you might see us around cleaning up and helping others learn how to compost and helping to sort garbage in the right way during our lunch program. It’s something I’m excited about. One of our goals is making sure the whole zero waste Sonoma initiative in the whole county is something we’re working on here. Having kids help with that is awesome.”
Counselors are also preparing other events and activities during day camp such as games, crafts, outdoor and indoor play time and local field trips to places such as the fire and police departments. In addition, campers will go to La Plaza park everyday for lunch, where food will be provided by the Redwood Empire Food Bank.
“We have partnered with Redwood Empire Food Bank to have a free lunch program this summer,” says Wilson. “It’s open to campers and anybody in the community who is 18 years old or under. It’s a really cool addition to our camp.”
The camp counselors are local teenagers from schools such as Credo and Rancho Cotate High School. In addition, Cotati is offering a CIT (Counselor in Training) program for teens too old to attend camp but who are not old enough to be full counselors yet. 13 to 17-year-olds can attend the CIT program for a cost of $50 for the week and acquire valuable job experience and leadership training.
“It’s helpful to the camp because we get extra hands to help, it’s helpful for the CITs because they are going to build skills and it’s helpful to the kids at camp because they get to look up to the teens that they’re working with,” says Ashley. “So it’s a win-win-win!”
The day camps run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. through Fri. and are geared to five to twelve-year-olds. No camps will be held the week of July 1 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Camps cost $125 per week, or a daily drop-in rate of $35. The Farmster camp costs $160 and runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Scholarships are available for low-income residents. To register for camps or for more information visit www.cotati.recdesk.com or contact Ashley Wilson, 707-665-4222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.