Every summer, the township parks and recreation department releases a program booklet filled with information on classes offered to children from 4 to 14.
“These programs are important because it gives the children something to do during the summer that is constructive,” explained Adele Riff, supervisor of Public Works. “The kids also stay active and keep in touch with friends or make new ones along the way.”
Programs and camps go on all summer, and include both sports and other physical activities as well as activities for children interested in music, science and art.
“Most of these programs are repeated for many years,” Riff noted. “They are created by instructors reaching out to the parks and recreation office inquiring about starting a class/camp and we go through all of the details together.”
Programs started in June and extend to the end of August and two camps remain. The Arts and Crafts summer camp for children 6 and up is taught by Cara Manering, of Creations By You in Williamstown. The first week-long session took place from July 11 through the 15; the last session will start Monday and end Aug. 26.
Each day the students will have an opportunity to paint a ceramic piece, play games and do another type of craft. Lunch will also be served.
Another program that was offered this month was the NASA-Journey to Space Camp. Developed in partnership with NASA, the camp allows participants to think and act like NASA innovators during a hands-on program inspired by the NASA Optimus Prime Challenge. Campers use creative and collaborative skills to design a mission patch, train like an astronaut, build a Mars rover and solve real world engineering problems.
Although the classes are offered to residents of the area, each one charges its own price for admission.
“Ten percent of each registration fee goes to the Washington Township Board of Education for programs utilizing their facilities,” Riff explained. “Parks and recreation charges either $18 per participant or 20 percent of each registration fee.
“Fees cover insurance for participants and instructors, completing school usage or facility usage paperwork and handling of registrations … The remaining balances pay the instructors,” she added.
For more information about cost and previous programs, visit https://www.twp.washington.nj.us/index.php.
Also in the program booklet is information regarding registration for fall, winter and spring sports leagues run through parks and recreation.