The second summer of the global pandemic-COVID-19 could not stop the good times, smiles, laughter and unforgettable memories that were made again this year at the Suffield Parks and Recreation Department’s summer camps, programs and events. We would sincerely like to thank everyone who has registered for our programs and trusted all of the staff during these uncertain times. There continued to be a tremendous amount of preparation, logistics, planning and re-planning that led up to being able to conduct our traditional in person summer camps again this summer. All the necessary and enhanced safety protocols continued to be in place so that our campers and program participants could fully enjoy their time. July has been declared National Parks and Recreation Month and boy did we help celebrate it with the community! We had so many new programs and events in addition to our summer camp programs including Concerts on the Green on Wednesdays, Movie Nights, fitness and running programs and the 5, 5, 5 Race Series.
Slip and slides, egg drops, relay races, capture the noodle, swimming, fishing, kayaking, arts and crafts. Our camp had an exciting time participating in these activities along with many other games. Sunrise Camp was so riveting that four furry alpacas wanted to join us for a day as well! Kids entering 2nd-5th grade created many lifelong friends and many memories this summer!
5-5-5 Race Series
Friends, family, and race clubs gathered this summer for a fun 5K race to support a great cause. Bruce Park and the high school cross country course were the location of the five-week race series. Charles Bridges, a Suffield resident worked alongside the Suffield Parks and Recreation Department to improve community wellness while raising funds for Suffield Community Aid. The Suffield community broke previous race attendance records many times throughout the summer. “It is so great to see people of all ages participate in such a great cause.” said a Suffield resident.
Campers experienced a new adventure each day throughout the summer. Participants climbed rock-wall mountains at Central Rock Gym, zip-lined through trees into water at Brownstone Quarry and enjoyed floating through rapids down the Farmington River. These trips were mixed in with camp games, trips to the Suffield Youth Center, and relaxing days at Babb’s Beach. Through guidance and positive encouragement, middle schoolers were pushed outside of their comfort zone all summer long.
Kids Korner and Morning Munchkins Camp
This year we were so excited to be able to bring back our youngest campers, the Morning Munchkins group that start at age 3 at our enjoyable Kids Korner camp held at Spaulding School. The campers enjoyed new themes each session that combined many educational components, fitness, mindfulness, arts and crafts, games and pure fun! We had so many fantastic guest speakers including Wendy Taylor from the Kent Memorial Library, Bonnie Waterhouse of Voices Against Lyme Disease, the Suffield Police, Fire Department and Ambulance Department who participated in our highly anticipated and extremely popular “Halloween in August Event” where the campers dressed up in Halloween costumes and trick or treated. Roaring Acres Alpaca Farm visited us for our Fun Friday special event with their adorable Alpacas. Laura Dromgold, a yoga instructor, visited all our camps and taught the campers and staff about mindfulness. And to cap it off, we were awarded a grant from the Connecticut Science Center and had hands-on, super fun, on STEM morning with two excellent instructors from the Science Center. The camp is action packed with activities, and this year we really wanted to make it special for all of the campers who have missed out on so much throughout the year.
In addition to our traditional camps, we also offered a variety of our other enriching programs including our Paint it Up Camp, Crafty Kids Camp, Suffield Spirit and Cheer, Premier Field Hockey Camp, Basketball Camp, Soccer Camp, Volleyball Camp, Tennis Camp, Chess Camp, Lacrosse Camp, 241 Sports Camp, and a variety of Zoom and in-person meet-up game nights for the Bowling Buddies Outing group throughout the summer. Babb’s Beach continues to be a very popular spot for swimming, outdoor movie nights and enjoying the beauty of Suffield throughout the entire summer, and the season was also extended this year for the community to enjoy even longer than previous years.
Our outdoor family and adult fitness programs continued to be very popular. Programs included our “Ready to Run” program that was held on two nights a week throughout the summer and instructed by Sarah Supino, owner of Unique Fitness, the Tababata Bootcamp and Power Burn programs instructed by Joseph Hicks, owner of TeamJTraining, our new Energizing Yoga flow program instructed by Laura Dromgold, our new All About Eagles presentation led by Ginny Apple and Healthy Skin Tips workshop led by Sarah Kitson. They were all a huge hit this summer! It was great to be able to offer so many outdoor fitness programs at our beautiful Bruce Park Pavilion.
Our camp and program staff did an excellent job throughout this challenging time and their work ethic, perseverance, positive attitudes, and dedication to our programs was remarkable. Many thanks go out to all of the counselors, junior counselors, volunteers, program instructors, coaches, lifeguards and gate attendants on helping make a safe and memorable summer of 2021 for the community despite the pandemic.
A very special thanks go out to all who registered for our programs. We hope you and your family will sign up for our many fall program offerings including the upcoming 41st Annual Road Race and 5K Run/Walk presented by Suffield Parks and Rec and PeoplesBank that will be held on September 11. For a full listing of all programs, please log onto www.suffieldrec.com.