I wanted to let you know how welcoming and passionate I have found the people of Suffield to be since I started as the Director of Parks and Recreation this past June. My first few mornings were filled with “Hellos” and “Good Mornings” outside of businesses, from people I had not met yet. The friendliness of Suffield has only grown since I have gotten to know more and more residents and business people in town. This reception, along with highly dedicated and caring municipal employees, passionate volunteers, and businesses investing in the community, helped the town of Suffield exceed my expectations, as I made the transition from the Boston area to the Director of Parks and Recreation in Suffield.
Our summer, as you can imagine, is filled with fun! This was the second summer that Babb’s Beach was reopened, and people enjoyed the weather and peaceful setting on Lake Congamond. Gate attendants welcomed visitors and ensured a clean park with a family atmosphere. The gate attendants were also there to verify town residency and charge an out-of-town gate fee of $20 per car to anyone not from Suffield. Those fees helped offset some of the operational cost of the park. On a side note, one Sunday my wife and I drove to check on Babb’s Beach. I was in the passenger seat, with the gate attendant unable to see me initially. The gate attendant pleasantly welcomed my wife to Babb’s Beach, proceeded with some “small talk,” and then asked if we were Suffield residents. It was a scene right out of the show “Undercover Boss,” and I could not have been happier with the welcome we received. All attendants did a great job this summer at the park being positive ambassadors of Suffield.
Children and families also enjoyed the many programs that we offer as Parks & Recreation. Traditional summer camps, like our Morning Munchkin/Kid’s Korner camps for younger children, held at the McAlister School, were a hit! A caring and well organized staff led campers through games, arts and crafts, and other activities, including putting on a show for the parents! I’m already looking forward to next summer’s camp!
Sunrise Park was host to two distinct camps: Sunrise Day Camp and our Tween Adventure Camp. I regularly checked in at both of these camps, which were filled with cooperative games, arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, a ropes course, and of course making summer memories with new friends! Our talented staff led campers throughout the two-week sessions of camp at beautiful Sunrise Park; and the Tween camp did travel off-site to Suffield Academy’s rope adventure course and rock wall complex. This was an exciting summer for me, with the “don’t break the egg” contest sticking in my mind. Campers designed and constructed various methods to protect their eggs, as the eggs went through levels of destructive tests. The team with the best protected eggs won!
There were plenty of opportunities to play traditional sports this summer! Campers enjoyed sport-specific camps for baseball, basketball, tennis, and soccer through the department. Soccer and baseball were held at Bruce Park, while tennis and basketball were held at the Family Athletic Complex at the middle school. In addition to sports, we had plenty of enrichment programs this summer. Everything from cooking, art, theater, Little Einsteins, and even horseback riding kept children happy and busy this summer. I miss it already!
On to fall, with Suffield on the Green, our 5k and 10k road races, field hockey, soccer, and all the fun of back to school. There is not really an “off-season” for Parks & Recreation, and this fall was no exception. Right out of summer camps came our 39th annual road race, with 100 runners taking to the streets of Suffield. A host of volunteers and municipal staff put together a great experience for the runners and their families. After conquering the courses, many proceeded up Mountain Road to enjoy Suffield on the Green. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the weekend than a traditional road race.
We have an exciting lineup of programs to choose from for adults and children alike. Please visit: www.suffieldrec.com for a listing of all programs including: bus trips to New York, Bowling Buddies & Outing Group, Halloween Party, Arts and Crafts, Lunchtime Walkers, Yoga, CrossFit, Fitness Classes for adults and youth, Adult Volleyball, pre-school programs, Cheerleading, and much more! One of the community programs is a collaboration between many town departments: “Scare it up Suffield.” This fun program gets people and groups involved in building scarecrows and competing against others for prizes. Get involved with this one!
All of our programs have benefits, and we want to be sure you take advantage of them. Please call with any questions, 860-668-3862.