Let’s go to camp: Camp Verde’s summer day camp offers fun in active, educational and experiential environment

From 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, through July 27, the Town of Camp Verde’s Parks and Recreation Department offers summer day camp for children who attended grades kindergarten through the fifth grade during the 2017-2018 school year. For more photographs, visit cvbugle.com. VVN/Bill Helm

From 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, through July 27, the Town of Camp Verde’s Parks and Recreation Department offers summer day camp for children who attended grades kindergarten through the fifth grade during the 2017-2018 school year. For more photographs, visit cvbugle.com. VVN/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE – Have fun and make friends.

That’s what the Town of Camp Verde’s Parks and Recreation wants for children who come to summer camp.

Who can attend the Camp Verde summer camp?

CAMP VERDE – Anyone who attended grades kindergarten through the fifth grade during the 2017-2018 school year can attend Camp Verde Parks and Recreation’s Summer Day Camp.

Through July 27, camp is from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $18 per day, or $80 to attend for an entire week.

Drop off your children each day at 8 a.m. at the Community Center Gym, located at the corner of Hollamon and Main streets. Pick up is at 4 p.m. at the same place, except for Tuesday, when children are picked up at the Jim Redinger Ramada, located between the gym and Fort Verde State Historic Park.

Parents – or a responsible party – needs to sign their children in and out each day.

Register online at the Town’s Parks and Recreation page at campverde.az.gov, or the Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Facebook page: Town of Camp Verde Parks & Recreation. Just click the blue ‘Book Now’ button.

Registration is limited to 20 kids per day. For more information, contact the Town of Camp Verde’s Parks & Recreation office at 395 S. Main St., or call Parks and Recreation Division Manager Mike Marshall at 928-554-0828.

“The goal of the Camp Verde Summer Day Camp program is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for each camper in an active, educational and experiential environment,” says Mike Marshall, Parks and Recreation Division manager.

Oh, and to make camp so much fun that children to want to come back.

It’s been several years since Camp Verde has offered a summer camp through the Town’s government. And expectations have changed, Marshall says, for what “an acceptable camp experience” is.

Which is why Marshall and his staff worked the past two years – and continue to work – on offering programming that shows children a good time and encourages them to return.

Says Sabrina Wilson, the camp’s head counselor, the typical day in the life of a Camp Verde summer camper is to alternate indoor and outdoor activities throughout the morning until about noon, when children break for lunch.

Following lunch, activities resume, but mostly indoor as the children play games and work on crafts – after all, it’s summer in Arizona.

Day in the life of a Camp Verde summer camper

By 8 a.m., parents are to drop off campers at the Community Center Gym. Typically, the first 30 minutes are spent in the gym. This allows the three counselors a chance to wait for any late-arriving children, and allows the children who have already arrived to run around in the gym, play a few games to keep occupied while they wait for any late arrivals.

Coleen Stone and Jennifer Beebee are the other camp counselors, with Wilson’s sister-in-law Emma Wilson also working as a volunteer counselor. Their primary duty the first half hour is to supervise the children while the head counselor waits outside to greet parents and the children they drop off.

This first year back for summer camp, between five and nine children have come out each day, which Marshal says “is not bad.”

Activities for the children have included checkers, Bingo, Frisbee golf, bean bag toss, line tag, blob tag, freeze tag, ball tag, dodgeball, kick the can, basketball related-games, indoor softball, and several other more uncommon games.

As well as spending time in a variety of places on the Town campus and the Community Center field, campers go on field trips on Tuesdays to places such as Dead Horse State Park, Prescott National Forest, Page Springs Hatchery and the Camp Verde Community Library. Children also spend part of each Wednesday at the Camp Verde Heritage Pool.

For an educational and creative component, children also listen to various guest speakers and go hiking, work on arts and crafts. As the brochure says, camp will be a “fun and educational experience.”

-- On Twitter: @BillHelm42

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