The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 17, 2010

RecCom’s summer program served 60 children in grades K-5

For 60 children, this summer was more enjoyable because of the Summer Fun program offered by the Carlisle Recreation Department. Summer Fun is a day-camp-style program that offers activities such as swimming, tennis, arts and crafts and theater to children entering kindergarten through fifth grade. The Carlisle Public School serves as home base with daily transportation to a local pool for swim lessons.

Director Stephanie Philippou has been involved with the program for ten years, first as a counselor-in-training, then as a counselor. Last year she was the assistant director. As director, she helped to plan the program as well as manage the daily operations and supervise the staff of seven paid counselors and swim instructors as well as several volunteers.

According to Philippou, “The best part about the program is undoubtedly the people. This year especially we had such a wonderful group of families who were very supportive of the program. The staff and volunteers are certainly the heart of the program and they were spectacular this summer. They are all wonderful counselors and I thank them for their patience, team work and especially their enthusiasm.”

Volunteer swim instructor 14-year-old Emma Marshall was thrilled to be a part of the team and work with the children to increase their comfort level in the pool. When asked about her favorite part of the job, she responded “I loved playing with the kids and swimming around in a pool. I also loved just helping them learn to swim. It was exciting to see a three-year old going from hating to touch the water to being able to swim on his own with a kickboard.”

Wacky Wednesdays continued to be a popular theme this summer. Each Wednesday featured a special activity such as a moon bounce or waterslide. In addition, there were special events with the Council on Aging. In one such event, the children and seniors joined together for a sing-a-long followed by an ice cream social.

The first session had ten children, the second session was the most popular with 23 children and the third had 17. In addition, ten children participated in swim lessons. Just as the Carlisle Public School has seen a decrease in enrollment (see page 7 for CPS enrollment data), the numbers for Summer Fun over the past several years have declined significantly. Last year, the program was offered to children entering kindergarten through fourth grade and 70 children participated. In 2007 there were approximately 118 campers in kindergarten through third grade. (That year the summer program had a section open to older children through grade 8 and it had a similar number of participants.) Despite the trend, Recreation Director Holly Hamilton was happy with the enrollment for Summer Fun as well as other programs offered by the department. Many of the campers were repeats from last year and many participated in multiple sessions.

The cost for a two-week session was $540. The goal of the program is to break even or make a small profit. While she does not have all the data yet, Hamiliton is confident Summer Fun was profitable this year. ∆

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