Summer camps get out of gate strong

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., Jun. 27, 2013
Campers at Center 375 celebrated Halloween during Holiday Week last summer. File photo by Steve Smith.
Campers at Center 375 celebrated Halloween during Holiday Week last summer. File photo by Steve Smith.

The Vernon Parks and Recreation Department's summer camps are quickly in full swing, and are nearly at capacity, according to Camp Director Karen Montminy, who said that all of the town's camps, which started on June 24, are full for the moment.

“I think it's that we offer such a variety of activities for kids of all ages,” Montminy said, adding that some other adjustments, like increasing the age to 13 at Camp Newhoca, have helped better serve Vernon families.

“I believe that we keep the kids busy, and each camp has their own things,” she said.

Newhoca is heavy on sports, and many of the counselors are college athletes, where Valley Falls camp is for nature lovers. The camp at Henry Park is more traditional, offering swimming, basketball, the playground and other activities. Center 375's camp has more indoor offerings, as well as the pool.

An art teacher travels to all of the camps, providing an outlet for the kids' creativity.

Montminy said all of the camps are structured, so that the children aren't all over the place doing different things, but rather keep activities focused and changing. “Every hour there's something different,” she said.

There are a few special events coming up. July 17 will be the Camp Olympics, which pits children from each camp against each other in various sports or games. Individual and team prizes will be awarded.

“The kids really like it,” Montminy said. “They all cheer for each other, and last year, they all made their own team's headbands.”

The Valley Falls and Henry Parks camps still have openings available. Newhoca has openings for weeks six and seven, beginning on July 29 and Aug. 5, respectively.

There are also specialty camps, including dance, tennis and arts.

For more information, visit or call 860-870-3520.

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