BY BARRY WARNER
Children enrolled in the Clarkstown Summer Day Camp and Playground Programs have been having a great time this summer.
The programs encourage kids to try new activities and expand their horizons in environments specifically arranged for them. The children learn how to get along with others and take responsibility for themselves. It is a time when they grow emotionally, socially and intellectually-all within a safe, secure and supportive atmosphere.
Camp and Playground Director Elaine Apfelbaum said, “Our mission is to provide a safe and fun camping experience for the children, utilizing 270 staff members. I expect the counselors to come in with a positive attitude and provide a variety of unique, creative and enjoyable activities. There are five full-day camps that run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and eight half-day playgrounds that go from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. I have been a camper and counselor. I have been there and lived it.”
Today, in the generation of science and technology, more and more children are glued to the computer, video games and television. Summer Day Camps are a good way to bring kids into the broad daylight and involve them in sports and nature activities. The kids meet many others of their same age and enjoy a lot of the trips and team building challenges plus explore the great outdoors.
Jackie Pepe, playground supervisor at Link Elementary School said, “I have been in the program for 12 years. The objective is for every child to have fun and be safe. The arts and crafts session for the younger children includes making clothespin butterflies. On hot days, the children are indoors at least 1 period and outside there are shaded areas where they are given water bottles for hydration.”
Jackie Weisberg, supervisor of the Pascack Community Center Playground said, “The children are having fun outdoors at the Water Spray Park and indoors in an air conditioned environment. Activities include board games, relay races in the gym, music, Carnival and a tie-die day.”
Swimming is a lifetime activity which benefits the whole body. The sport develops a swimmer’s general strength, builds cardiovascular fitness and provides stamina to stay active and energetic throughout the day. On hot summer days, floating in the water has a cooling effect.
Jayne Zanelotti, supervisor of Camp Clarkstown at Strawtown Elementary School said, “The activities are varied and fun to give kids opportunities to participate and make friends. Many of the staff and campers have returned from last year. There are athletics, arts and crafts, a game room, swimming 4 days a week and 4 major trips. Visitations include Medieval Times, Boulders Baseball, Lake Compounce and Dorney Park. Special activities include Carnival Day, spin art, an inflatable bounce house and a pie eating contest.”
Sports help kids develop discipline, plus they realize that by working hard, they can accomplish goals on the field. Girls and boys learn that sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, therefore, they can deal better with their disappointments. When campers return to school in the fall, these experiences will help many of them to develop authentic relationships with their peers to learn to participate in human-powered activities.
The Extended Summer Playground at the Street Community Center will run from August 5 to August 16 with full and half-day programs available. Call 845-639-6200 for further information.