Keeping Kids Active

9 years 3 months 1 week ago June 22, 2007 Jun 22, 2007 Friday, June 22 2007 Friday, June 22, 2007 5:42:54 PM CDT in News

"It's different because its more like a playground program. More like a drop in. You can register pretty much any day you want. Where as other camps you need to register way ahead of time to get in," Dayton Grover, from Columbia Parks and Rec, said.

Campers stay busy with sports.

"We play a little four square and then we play a little catch with the football and then we went out and played basketball," Tyler Allison, from the Kids Club said.

The camp is open to children entering third through sixth grade. But one older camper can't seem to stay away.

"I started around the second grade and everything, I just came here to see how it was. The first time I came here I was really pleased with how it was run. I just came here year after year until I hit my sixth grade year. So I decided to volunteer and help them out even more. I think three years past and now I'm a counselor," Matthew England, a camp counselor, said.

From one counselor to another, England knows what summer camp is all about.

"He's got great sportsmanship. He loves working with the kids, and he knows what the program is about, and that's what we try to teach the kids," Grover said.

"Being more mature than I used to be, I used to be kind of selfish or greedy about some stuff, but now I have to get over that and become more reliable and helpful to other people instead of myself," England explained.

In addition to strong role models, parents bring their kids to the camp for a variety of reasons.

"Its a fun way for him to stay connected with his friends and to be outside, and to be active. And especially this camp, its very affordable, its just $25 for the week and there's the option to sign up for multiple weeks or just one week," Amy Ewing, a mom, said.

Another attractive feature is the camp's location. The Active Kids Club is an indoor program during the school year, but during the summer time it comes out to Columbia's parks. Kids visit the parks on a rotating schedule. This year's schedule includes Oakland, Fairview, and Cosmo Bethel parks.

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