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Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Many activities help keep children busy in summer

Monday, June 13, 2005

SIKESTON - While kids may enjoy their freedom from school and homework, they may end up a bit bored this summer.

Luckily, there are some area activities to keep them active and entertained the next few months.

The YMCA summer day camp began last week, according to Chris Hodgkiss, Program Director. The 10-week camp is in session from June 6 through Aug. 12 and open to students entering kindergarten through fifth grade. Camp costs are $60 per week for members and $75 per week for non-members.

During the week, the campers go on a field trip every Wednesday, swim two afternoons a week, participate in arts and crafts activities, play indoor and outdoor games and are involved in the summer reading program at the library.

"Our goal for day camp is for the kids to have fun, and for the prices that we charge, they really get a lot," Hodgkiss said. "They aren't just sitting in front of a TV doing nothing - they're kept very active."

Hodgkiss also added that there are a variety of activities available, and it is good for the participants to be active and interact with their peers. "The kids really love and enjoy it," he noted.

Each week of the day camp has its own theme. A few of these include 'Let's be Friends', 'Safari Week', and 'Fun in the Sun'.

"The kids will do a variety of activities related around that theme," Hodgkiss said. In fact, the weekly field trips also tie in with the them - during 'Fun in the Sun', they will travel to Bluff Falls, and the campers will visit Grants Farms for 'Safari Week'.

Campers register for individual weeks, according to Hodgkiss. Some of the weekly sessions are already full, but some spots are still available.

A Counselors in Training program, open to kids entering sixth through eighth grades is offered by the YMCA at the same time as the day camp. It is $35 per week for members and $45 for non-members.

"They do a lot of the same stuff with the day camp," Hodgkiss said. "But they're older so they do a little more as far as community service and leadership type things."

Youngsters in the CIT program participate in a community service project once a week. Some of these activities include bagging groceries, cleaning the park and helping out at the soup kitchen.

Hodgkiss said that both of these programs are good for youngsters, because it allows them to be active and interact with their peers.

The YMCA is also offering swimming lessons again this year for preschoolers, ages 3-5; and youth, ages 6 and up. Two sessions are offered, with classes in the mornings and evenings, according to Hodgkiss.

The first session will be June 13 - 24, with sign-ups June 7-10. And the second session is scheduled July 11-22, with July 5-8 registration. Cost for these classes is $12 for members and $24 for the general public.

For more information about the summer programs offered by the YMCA or to register for day camp and other activities, call 472-9622.

Vacation Bible school, summer school and summer reading programs sponsored by various libraries are also options to keep kids busy.

And most church programs are offered to everyone, not just members of the church sponsoring the event.

"We would love to have as many kids as we can get in our doors," said Beki Warren, a member of the Children and Family Board at Tanner Street Church of God, of their upcoming Wednesday night program, "Choices."

"It's not necessarily bible-based curriculum," Warren said. "It's just something that we created here at the church to do something for the kids."

For more information about upcoming vacation Bible school and other church youth programs, see the religion page, run each Friday in the Standard Democrat.