Hearing the phrase “I’m bored” out of a child’s mouth during summer vacation is a common occurrence for many parents.
With the school year drawing to a close, many local parents are looking for ways to keep their child’s summer full of fun and learning, and avoid the dreaded boredom. The city of Puyallup Parks and Rec Department has just the ticket to not only keep kids entertained, but help them learn something along the way. The city’s day camp, Camp Yougottawanna, provides kids and parents with structure, learning opportunities and plenty of fun throughout the summer.
Each week from from June 22 to Aug. 28, children ages 5 to 13 embark on five days of fun. Each week has a different theme to keep kiddos of all ages entertained. Themes vary, from “Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh My!” which includes a field trip to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, to “Wild Water Week” that includes a trip to Wild Waves Theme Park.
“Each week, there is some sort of learning that takes place,” said Annamarie Burke, recreation coordinator.
Not do the camps create an atmosphere where learning and fun take place, but Burke works hard to hire counselors who are positive male and female role models for campers.
“It really gives that little boy who isn’t listening or cooperative somebody to look up to,” she said.
The goal of the program is to provide structure and a schedule for kids who normally wouldn’t have that during the summer or school year.
“We establish a schedule and a routine, and we stick with it,” Burke continued. “That really helps kids grow.”
While day camp is offered for 10 weeks, Burke says even kids who attend for just one week grow immensely.
“Sometimes, we let the kids make decisions or lead games,” Burke said. “It really helps when they have those positive role models to develop leadership skills.”
In addition to the day camp program, the Parks and Rec department also offers Little Kids Kamp for ages 3 to 5. Little Kids Kamp will run for six weeks from July 6 to Aug. 10. Much like the day camp for older kids, Kids Kamp has weekly themes as well, but without field trips. The camp meant for the younger set is offered from 9 a.m. to noon.
Camp Yougottawanna is $165 per week for non residents and $140 for residents, depending on the week of camp. Little Kids Kamp is $75 per week, and $65 for residents.
For more information or to register, visit www.cityofpuyallup.org/services/parks-recreation/summer-camps/.