Bremerton Parks, Rec offers plenty for summer

Bremerton Parks and Recreation provides a variety of summer camps throughout the season that feature a range of activities including tug of war. - Courtesy photo
Bremerton Parks and Recreation provides a variety of summer camps throughout the season that feature a range of activities including tug of war.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Programs designed to give kids ‘best experience possible.’

With school out for the summer, kids across the city have more than just a little free time on their hands and parents are facing the dilemma about how to prevent idle hands from becoming the devil’s workshop.

That’s where Bremerton Parks and Recreation comes in as it offers an abundance of activities for kids as an alternative to days spent on the couch playing X-Box 360, Playstation 3 or whatever other gaming system is on-hand.

“Our motto is to be safe and make sure every kid has the best possible experience,” parks and recreation employee Cynthia Engelgau said.

The department offers summer camps for a reasonable fee and the very popular free “Fun at the Playgrounds” program.

“I think the best thing about our summer programs is that we have really awesome, qualified, trained staff that are enthusiastic and love to work with kids,” she said.

While summer camps are an attractive draw for many families, the “Fun at the Playgrounds” program is one of the oldest in the city, she said.

The concept is staff is on the playground site to play, serve lunch and mentor the school-age children left at home alone or at home for the summer months, she said.

Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. to kids ages 0-18 thanks to the summer lunch program provided through the Bremerton School District, she said.

“Our staff lead age-appropriate activities for children 6-12 like capture the flag, kick ball, arts and crafts and even summer reading,” she said.

Other community organizations come to the playground sites like the Boy Scouts, American Red Cross and Washington State Extension Service to talk about safety, leadership and nutrition, she said.

“Fun at the Playgrounds” is Monday through Friday beginning June 30 and ending Aug. 8 with the exception of July 4. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. It is held at Haddon Park, Evergreen Park, Matan Park, Armin Jahr Elementary School and in Manette. Activities are planned for children 6 to 12.

“We are very fortunate that our mayor and city council also believe that this is an important program for the community. They make sure the funding is there,” she said. “Playgrounds is really about the whole community caring about its kids.”

There are a number of summer camps planned for this summer and sign-ups are on a first come, first-served basis as space is limited.

Camps include:

• Little Campers (Ages 2-5)

During these five weeks of summer, young campers will be introduced to a preschool setting while spending the day doing fun activities: arts and crafts, music, stories and outdoor games. The camp is full of learning, exploration, and summer fun. Free lunch is served at noon.

Ages 2-3; Mondays and Wednesdays July 7-Aug. 6; 10:30 a.m.-noon; cost is $93 for non-city residents and $83 for city residents.

Ages 3-5; Tuesdays and Thursdays July 8-Aug. 7; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; $170 (non-city residents)/$150 (city residents).

• Tiny Tot Sports Camp (Ages 3-6)

This camp introduces children to the fundamentals of sports such as soccer, T-ball and basketball. Children will learn various sport skills, sportsmanship, teamwork and play active games in Sheridan Park Community Center Gym or outside.

Session I is Mondays and Wednesdays July 7-July 23 from 9-10 a.m. $39 (non-city residents)/$34 (city residents).

Session II is Mondays and Wednesdays July 28-Aug. 13 9-10 a.m. $39 (non-city residents)/$34 (city residents).

• Camp Create (Ages 5-11 )

During this week, children will use their creativity in many art forms. They can make jewelry, learn how to scrapbook, decorate their own mug or plate and create their own pottery. During this week they will create all kinds of things.

June 30-July 3 8 a.m. -5 p.m. $93 (non-city residents)/$83 (city residents).

• Sports and Cheer Camp (Ages 5-11)

Kids will play on a team and learn the fundamentals of their favorite sport: basketball, soccer, softball and more. Join the cheer squad and learn cheerleading basics, jumps, cartwheels, dances and cheers. They will even be making smores, hiking, playing camp games and swimming.

July 7- July 11, 8 a.m. -5 p.m.; $99 (non-city residents)/$89 (city residents).

•Shutterbugs and Art (Ages 5-12)

Shutterbugs introduce children to the art and science behind the camera lens. They’ll learn about photography by making their own camera obscura.

Through the world of color, children will discover rainbows and prisms, and create their own kaleidoscopes.

Children will learn about art, science, cameras, light, and of course, having fun. They will even make their own movie. Camp includes breakfast and lunch.

July 14-18, 8 a.m. -1 p.m.; Cost: $80 (non-city residents)/$70 (city residents).

• Birds, butterflies and nature (Ages 5-12)

Mad science has gone to the birds for a great day of science exploration. Students will learn how adaptations have led to so many different types of birds and how to make a birdseed mixture that’s just what birds love. Camp includes breakfast and lunch.

July 28-Aug. 1, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; Cost: $80 (non-city residents)/$70 (city residents).

More information can be found on the city’s Web site, or by calling parks and recreation at (360) 473-5305.

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