Tomorrow marks the official start of summer vacation for Whitehall-area youth, and kids looking for a way to fill their suddenly clear schedules will find plenty of recreational opportunities at the Rec. Center.
The center has released its slate of summer programs and the list includes everything from crafts to sports.
Most programs will begin the week of July 1 and advance registration is not required.
“We’re going to be flexible, especially with the sports and crafts programs, because people come and go during the summer,” said Julie Eagan, who is organizing the programs.
Free lunch program
The summer lunch program, which was a resounding success last year, will return this summer.
A free, nutritious lunch will be served Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m. and is open to all kids.
The program is meant to fill the void that exists for children who receive a free or reduced lunch during the school year. The program is funded by the town and subsidized by donations from local businesses and individuals
“It’s completely free,” Eagan said. There are no income requirements and lunch is available to any child who would like to eat.
Most meals will consist of sandwiches and a healthy snack although other options will occasionally be available.
On Fridays, a nutrition expert from Cornell Cooperative Extension will guide children through the process of preparing their own meal. Dubbed “Gourmet Fridays,” kids will learn more about what constitutes healthy nutrition.
Reservations are not required.
Sports and Crafts
Summer sports programs will begin on July 1 and participants are supervised and coached by recreation center personnel and volunteers.
“We try to concentrate on the fundamentals,” Eagan said.
Groups will be split into appropriate age groups when possible and an emphasis is placed on safety and learning.
Basketball will offered from 2 to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays; badminton or volleyball from 3 to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays; tennis from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and soccer from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Beginner running will be held at 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
A game day will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. every Friday, and will include baseball, kickball, and other various summer activities. And throughout July, weekly chess, pool, dodge ball and ping pong tournaments will be held at 4 p.m. on the 1st, 10th, 24th, and 31st.
Dance lessons–hip hop and soft shoe ballet—are two of the newest activities. Ballett classes will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays and Hip Hop classes from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. An end-of-summer dance recital will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 28.
Organizers are also offering theater program from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays with a performance to be staged at 5 p.m. on Aug. 24.
For those who are more inclined to art, crafts will be offered at 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Materials for each project will be supplied and children will be able to take their completed work home with them.
Dances and Lock-ins
There are also several individual events scheduled throughout the summer.
The summer season kicks off with a teen lock-in from 7 p.m. on June 28 to 7 a.m. on June 29. This event will be limited to students in grades 9 through 12 and the evening will feature games, movies and refreshment.
A “Tween” lock-in for kids in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 9-10.
A drive-in movie night will be held on July 6.
“We plan on projecting the movie right on the side of the building,” Eagan said.
Cornell Cooperative Extension will also sponsor two events: Adventure games at 2 p.m. on July 11 and an Environmental Scavenger Hunt at 2 p.m. on July 25.
A Summer splash event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on July 27 and will include a slip and slide, water sprinklers, water balloon wars and more.
A back to school dance will be held at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24.
All summer programs are free to participants.
The Rec. Center is open from noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays beginning on June 24. For more information on any of the programs, call 499-1280.