New lineup of kids activities available this summer

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Powell Recreation District revamps offerings for 2018

If kids complain about having nothing to do this summer, maybe they should look at the Powell Recreation District’s long lineup of programs.

For 2018, the district has added new activities while upgrading some of the existing ones, said director Colby Stenerson.

One change on tap for this year is an expanded Kids’ Camp for those 5-9 years old. The program, which used to only be available during afternoons, will now run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, from June 4 to July 27.

“We had some parents ask about that, and so we worked it out,” Stenerson said of the full-day option.

Kids may stay until 5 p.m. to accommodate their parents’ work schedules and a free lunch is being included through a partnership with Powell Valley Healthcare. Parents have the option of sending their kids to just a half-day session ($31 per week) or the full day ($62).

Registration deadlines are rapidly approaching for some programs.

For instance, sign-ups are due by Friday for the district’s extensive “Summer Academy.” The academy, run in conjunction with Park County School District No. 1, offers various classes for youth entering kindergarten through eighth grade. Classes go for two hours per day for one week (either from 10 a.m. to noon or 1-3 p.m.) and are divided by age groups; younger kids can receive instruction on the fundamentals of soccer, basketball or martial arts, learn about cooking or have fun with water while older children can dive into pottery, safe babysitting techniques or computer programming, among many other options.

“We try to provide that Summer Academy to be educational, but also really fun, too,” said Stenerson. “And maybe something they don’t get otherwise.”

The weeklong classes, held between June 4 and July 20, are $22.

Five one-day “Adventure Trips” are also on tap, which will take participating children (ages 6-14) to fun spots in Billings and Red Lodge, Montana.

That includes visiting Zoo Montana and Chuck E. Cheese on May 30, taking in a Billing Mustangs minor league baseball game on June 29, bouncing around the “Get Air” trampoline park on July 17, slip-sliding around The Reef indoor water park on Aug. 1 and checking out bears, raptors and other animals at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary in Red Lodge on Aug. 8.

The cost ranges between $15 and $20.

Among the summer activities getting a makeover for 2018 is the district’s junior golf program.

Running on Wednesdays from June 6 to July 25, participating youth (ages 7 and up) will learn all aspects of the game in one-hour lessons, then head out onto the course. At $60 for seven lessons and tournaments, it’s “a heck of a deal,” Stenerson said.

As long as there’s enough interest, the district also plans to provide transportation to and from the golf course. The 7-mile drive out to the course from the city could prohibit some youth from signing up, so “we’re going to try to eliminate that hinderance and give them a way out there,” Stenerson explained.

Most of the district’s classes come with a charge, but a few are free.

One is a “Science Kids” program called Shutter Bugs. Instructor Jayne Johnson — a digital studio specialist at Northwest College — and assistant Kim Curtis will take children ages 9-12 on a photographic journey from July 30-Aug. 2. After teaching kids the basics of taking good photos, they’ll scout nature for the perfect shots, armed with hand-made pinhole cameras and digital cameras. Science Kids has previously offered classes in other parts of the state.

“It’s a cool program,” said Stenerson, adding, “We’re kind of excited to get that started [in Powell] and hopefully if it takes off, maybe they’ll be able to offer some more classes in that, too.”

Only 12 spots are available in the four-day session and, although the registration deadline isn’t until July 16, Stenerson said the class is already halfway full.

Meanwhile, in partnership with the Children’s Resource Center, the rec district is offering a free parent/child class called “Kid Zone.” Designed for kids 2-5 and their parents, the class will target developmental milestones across three days (June 6, 13 and 20), featuring a story, creative project and snack.

Powell’s 32nd Annual Kids’ Fishing Day, set for June 2, is also free.

Many other activities are on tap for this summer, including youth tennis lessons, gymnastics, summer basketball and soccer leagues, sports camps for wrestling, soccer, volleyball, football, tennis and basketball, plus a couple adventure camps.

A youth cheer class is also returning this year and Stenerson said the district hopes to draw more participants.

Adult options include martial arts, taekwondo, zumba, women’s self-defense classes and pickleball.

A half-dozen disc golf baskets and discs are also available for rent from the district for $12 per day or $20 per weekend; they were “a pretty big hit last year,” Stenerson said.

For more details, registration forms and a complete listing of summer activities, visit www.powellrec.com, pick up a Summer 2018 activities guide or call the district at 754-5711.

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