Sum­mer camp pro­vides ac­tiv­ity to beat sum­mer blues

Maryland Independent - - Front Page -

A re­cent morn­ing dur­ing Sum­mer Youth Camp at Henry E. Lackey High School, the gym is di­vided — floor hockey is played on one side; soccer on the other. And it’s not reg­u­lar hockey. Ev­ery­one — at least 20 kids, plas­tic sticks in hand with blades the color of Pop­si­cles — take over the floor, two balls in place of pucks are used and when one is smacked into the hall­way, it’s ap­par­ently still in play. On the soccer side of the gym, coun­selors show off fancy foot skills be­fore their much younger charges are able to steal the ball away and eas­ily score a goal.

Noth­ing makes sense, but ev­ery­one seems to know the rules. It’s sum­mer camp, where things are re­laxed, the di­rec­tor is wear­ing an over­size som­brero and a camper’s tough­est choice is whether they’re go­ing to play ping­pong or Con­nect Four.

Charles County Pub­lic Schools (CCPS) has held a sum­mer camp for more than 20 years, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease. Be­fore the pro­gram was moved to Lackey, it was held at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land, Don Lay­ton, the camp co­or­di­na­tor who is in charge of Lackey’s aquat­ics de­part­ment. Chil­dren in sec­ond grade up to the age of 13 can sign up for all four weeks of camp or can pick and choose the weeks they want to en­roll, said Marty Mar­go­lis, camp di­rec­tor and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher at Wal­ter J. Mitchell El­e­men­tary School. He is the one wear­ing the som­brero, along with mis­matched socks pulled up to his knees, be­cause July 11 to 15 is Spirit Week at the camp.

Run­ning four weeks from June 20 to July 12, the camp spe­cial­izes in fun. There is touch foot­ball, bas­ket­ball, swim­ming, arts and crafts, whif­fle ball and other games. Coun­selors — high school and col­lege stu­dents — are more than likely for­mer par­tic­i­pants of the camp who have signed up to work it or vol­un­teer.

“Mr. Lay­ton and Mr. Mar­go­lis taught me how to ex­pand my char­ac­ter,” said Caleb Chris­tian, a North Point High School ju­nior who at­tended camp for four years be­fore re­turn­ing to vol­un­teer to help for the past four years. “You meet new peo­ple. And as a coun­selor, I try to play ev­ery sport so I know what I’m do­ing. It’s a good at­mos­phere and a good camp,” Chris­tian said in the re­lease.

“It’s some­thing to do dur­ing the sum­mer in­stead of sit­ting around and watch­ing TV,” said Grace Klaas, a fifth grader at Mt. Hope/Nan­je­moy El­e­men­tary School, who counts swim­ming as her fa­vorite camp ac­tiv­ity. “And all of the coun­selors are re­ally nice.”

Lan­don Smith, a third grader at Theodore G. Diggs El­e­men­tary School, likes work­ing on arts and crafts at camp and “It let’s me try out all kinds of sports,” he said in the re­lease.

Will Davis, a ju­nior at North Point, has been a coun­selor for the past two sum­mers. “It’s a good thing to do,” he said. “We’re help­ing out with the kids and mak­ing sure they’re hav­ing a fun sum­mer.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Wal­ter J. Mitchell El­e­men­tary School third graders Nick Mudd, left, and Mark Scopp work on their arts and crafts projects with Kai Sprag­gins, a sec­ond grader at J.C. Parks El­e­men­tary School, dur­ing sum­mer camp at Henry E. Lackey High School.

Above, el­e­men­tary school stu­dents spent time in arts and crafts work­ing with clay dur­ing Sum­mer Youth Camp held at Henry E. Lackey High School. Pic­tured from left are third grader Ray­nard Deal, sec­ond grader Jaiden Junge and fourth grader An­drew Lu­cas, all of Wal­ter J. Mitchell El­e­men­tary School, and Lan­don Smith, a third grader at Wil­liam A. Diggs El­e­men­tary School. Right, Bron­son Velozo, left, and Han­son Tay­lor, both fifth graders at Mary H. Mat­ula, take on coun­selor Bran­don Will, a col­lege stu­dent, dur­ing an in­door soccer game played dur­ing sum­mer camp held at Henry E. Lackey High School.

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