By Donna Carney-Bastrzycki-Director of Special Programs-Suffield Parks and Recreation Department, Daniel Leonard-Sports and Recreation Programmer
Summer was filled with fun at the Suffield Parks and Recreation Department’s Summer Camps and Programs
The third summer of the global pandemic could not stop the smiles, laughter, good times and lasting memories that were made again this year at the Suffield Parks and Recreation Department. We would sincerely like to thank everyone who has registered for our programs. July was the “National Parks and Recreation Month”, and “We Rise Up for Parks and Recreation” was the theme. Throughout the year we help to build our vibrant and strong community through our programs, classes and special events. We hope that you and your family have been enjoying our offerings.
We had a variety of new events and programs this year in addition to our summer camp programs including: Movie Nights on the Green and at Babbs, Suffield Night at the Yard Goat Game in July, Concerts on the Green on Wednesdays, the 55-5 Race Series, Fitness and Running Programs and special party and Zoom nights for the Bowling Buddies Group.
Kids Korner and Morning Munchkins Camp
The Kids Korner/Morning Munchkins camp was held this year at McAlister School and was action packed with tons of fun. Campers ages three to seven enjoyed a variety of new themes each session that combined many educational lessons, Mindfulness, arts and crafts, social and emotional learning, fitness and games. We also had many fantastic guest speakers including: Wendy Taylor from Kent Memorial, Laura Dromgold – Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor, the Suffield Fire, Police, and Ambulance Departments who participated in our very popular “Halloween in August Event.” This is one of the camper’s favorite events, where they dress up in their Halloween costumes and were able trick or treat at various stations with members of the Suffield Police, Fire and Ambulance.
Our interactive sessions kept the campers busy and engaged. During the first session, the campers took part in our “Super Star Sports” theme and learned so much about various sports, played a variety of games and made very creative sports related crafts. For the second session the campers enjoyed our “Colorful Creatures” theme. For our last session, campers loved our “Every Season in 10 Days” theme. The campers had a terrific time. This year, we were able to bring back and put on our large-scale event days with the campers’ families and caregivers. These events were a big hit and the campers and families enjoyed attending camp together on those days for the event as well as the special day with activities, ice cream, snacks and the camper award ceremony.
Our engaging themes this summer were “Super Star Sports”, “Colorful Creatures” and “Every Season in 10 Days”. During our two-week sessions, the campers learned so much while having loads of fun.
Campers in Grades two through five spent their summer days at Sunrise Park enjoying a variety of outdoor activities! Kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming, and an abundance of fun games.
The Suffield Parks & Recreation Department partnered up with the Suffield Fire Department each week to provide the campers with a Slip and Slide as well as Egg Drops. Throughout the summer we also had many themes. Each theme lasted for one week and was capped off with a fun party and dressing up on the Friday of each week. Some themes include Party in the USA, Carnival Week, Shark Week, Disney Week, Messy Day and Survival Week. During Carnival week, campers participated in many activities including soaking their counselors in a dunk tank.
Our sunrise staff did a tremendous job throughout the summer providing the kids with a fun and safe camp experience. Counselors, Lifeguards and Directors arrived at camp each day with a positive attitude and eager to run around with the kids. We could not provide a safe and friendly camp environment without our astounding summer 2022 Staff!
Campers experienced a new adventure each day throughout the summer. Participants breathed underwater while scuba diving. They Zip lined through trees into water at Brownstone Quarry. They 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 school campers were pushed outside of their comfort zone all summer long.
5-5-5 Race Series
Many family, friends and race clubs gathered this summer for a fun weekly 5K race to support a great cause. The event was held at Bruce Park and the high school cross country course for this five-week race series. Since 2019, Charles Brydges, a Suffield resident worked alongside the Suffield Parks and Recreation Department to help improve community wellness while raising funds for Suffield Community Aid. The races were a hit and for such a terrific cause.
In addition to our traditional camps, we also offered a variety of our other enriching programs including our new Cheerleading Camp, Whole Foods Nutrition Camp, Swimming Lessons, Crafty Camp, Paint it Up Camp, Baseball Camp, Premier Field Hockey Camp, Volleyball Camp, Soccer Camp, Tennis 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. Sunrise and Babbs Beach have continued to be popular.
Our outdoor adult and family fitness and enrichment programs also continued to be very popular. Programs included our: Tababata Bootcamp and PowerBurn programs instructed by Joseph Hicks, owner of TeamJTraining, our new Energizing Yoga flow program instructed by Laura Dromgold and “Ready to Run” instructed by Sarah Supino and Coach Megan from XGT Fitness.
Many thanks to our camp staff, Aquatic Staff, program instructors, gate attendants, coaches and volunteers that have helped make all of the programs safe and fun this summer and throughout the year. We also especially want to thank all those who have registered for our programs. We hope you and your family will sign up for our many fall program offerings including the upcoming 42nd Annual Road Race that will be held on September 10. For a full listing of all programs, please log onto www.suffieldrec.com