Camps keep kids active when school's out

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Maria-Jose Subiria


Destiny Link, 9, was jumping up and down Tuesday, trying to score in a foosball contest in the game room at the Virginia Burton Gray Recreation Center in Riverdale.

The youngster was among 22 excited children who filled the center with noise and laughter, playing foosball, ping pong, pool and bumper pool, in one of Clayton County's three, five-day spring break camps operated by the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department, according to Fallon Burgess, therapeutic recreation supervisor at the Gray Center.

There is no additional space now for children wishing to participate in the spring break camp, she said.

"We only take 30, for spring break camp," said Burgess. "For summer camp, we take 180 kids."

The Gray Center is located at located at 1475 East Fayetteville Road. Other spring break camp sites are the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, at 3499 Rex Road in Rex, and the Jim Huie Recreation Center and Steve Lundquist Aquatic Center, located at 9045 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro.

Young Link said she enjoys the spring break camp because it keeps her active throughout the day.

"It [camp] is good and it is pretty nice, and I like it because they have a lot of activities," said Link. "One thing I like is, I never get in trouble."

In the spring and summer activities, Burgess said children participate in swimming, arts and crafts, gymnasium activities, talent shows and 4-H components. The activities offered range from 30 minutes to an hour, she explained.

Field trips also are included in the spring camps, Burgess said. Today, children are expected to visit the Skate Zone in Morrow. "On Friday, there is a free field trip, where they'll go to Centennial Olympic Park, where they will do activities," Burgess added.

She said activities may vary from one recreational center to another, because each center is constructed differently.

For example, "the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center has a huge playground, a nature trail and several fields," Burgess said.

Registration for summer camps will begin on April 12, and end on May 21. The cost of the summer camps will be $50 for one child, per week. She said the cost of camp does not include field trips.

According to Burgess, both the spring and summer camps run from 7 a.m., to 6 p.m. She explained that from 7 a.m., to 9 a.m., parents drop off and check-in their children, and from 4 p.m., to 6 p.m., parents pick up their children from camp.

Burgess said that during summer camp, children will learn from a variety of guest speakers that will entertain them through demonstrations and performances.

"We really keep them as active as possible," she said.

For more information, call the Gray Center at (770) 603-4001, the Rhodenizer Center at (770) 472-8042 or the Huie Center at (678) 479-5136.