By DRU MURRAY
Special Contributor

The last day of school (this coming Thursday for the Lewisville Independent School District) looms, yet working parents and guardians need not fear for Lewisville’s Parks & Leisure Services and LLELA offer great summer youth camps for various ages.

Registration for the City of Lewisville camps is not limited to residents of Lewisville. Campers come from Carrollton, Flower Mound, The Colony, and other nearby towns.

Among the many options offered by Lewisville is BreakOUT Camp for children aged 8–12 that runs for 10 exciting weeks at the Frederick P. Herring Recreation Center (FHRC) located at 191 Civic Circle. Attendees will be thrilled to participate in the various activities such as arts and crafts projects, swimming, and game times at the center, plus adventurous field trips to the Urban Air Trampoline Part, Hawaiian Falls, Amazing Jake’s, plus many more.

The BreakOUT Camp provides supervised care between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Children’s parents are required to sign their children in and out of the camp daily. The sessions run from 6/6–6/10, 6/13–6/17, 6-20–6/24, 6/27–7/1, 7/5–7/8, 7/11–7/15, 7/18–7/22, 7/25–7/29, 8-1–8/5, and 8/8–8/12.

Adam Shorter
Recreation Specialist Adam Shorter, who plans the fun curriculum kids enjoy at BreakOUT Camp. Photo by Dru Murray.

“The sessions are only about halfway full at this point,” said Recreation Specialist Adam Shorter who is in charge of the BreakOUT Camps, “but they will fill up. Every year, we change the curriculum for BreakOUT and create different themes for each week and match them to the field trips. For the Under the Sea session, we match it to the Dallas Aquarium.”

When asked how he decides what activities to fill the BreakOUT Camps with, Adam said, “I do it two ways. First, I draw on my past experience by asking myself, ‘What did I think was fun when I was a kid. Second, I ask myself, ‘What is in the now? For instance, we have a field trip to the Perot Museum. On the second level is the technology. The kids just eat it up.”
The cost of $125 per one-week session of the BreakOUT Camp includes two T-shirts, an afternoon snack, transportation, and admission to all field trips.

Said Hilary Boen, recreation manager, “We try to keep our fees for the camps as low as possible but for field trips we still have to pay for buses, etc.”

Anyone interested in learning about the BreakOUT Camps’ field trip destinations and the standards of care may find the details inside the Camp Registration packets they may pick up at the FHRC. Children’s Camper Registration packets must be completed by the time parents or guardians register them.

SWAT vehicle with kids
Xtreme Response Camp participants and instructors climb aboard and stand near a new SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) vehicle. Photo courtesy of Lewisville Parks & Leisure Services.

The Xtreme Response Camp that will operate from Mon., June 20, through Fri., June 24, gives children aged 11–15 a chance to experience working as a first responder. Instructors from the Lewisville Fire Department, officers from the Lewisville Police Department, staff members from Emergency Management, and Park & Leisure Services staff will direct attendees in response activities.

Participants will be taught the three concepts essential to effective emergency response—Teamwork, Leadership, and Communication. Campers will be divided into teams like personnel in police and fire departments are. The hands-on activities and live demonstrations will include a Simulated Fire Suppression, a Crime Scene Reconstruction, a Mock Courtroom Trial, Dive Team Operations, and S.W.A.T. Operations, in addition to others.

Friday, the campers and their families may attend a graduation ceremony after which there will be a pool party at the Sun Valley Aquatic Center at Memorial Park (1950 S. Valley Parkway).

The Xtreme Response Camp, which costs $150, will be held at the Jerry R. Galler Public Safety Training Center, 701 Sewage Treatment Plant Road. To obtain more information about this exciting camp, call the MPRC (972-219-5061) or the FHRC (972-219-3560), or ring Recreation/Event Specialist Falyn Westbrook at 972-219-3561 or email her at fwestbrook@cityoflewisville.com.

Fun, fun, fun will fill the days children aged 3–8 spend at the Kids 4 Summer Fun Camp instructed by Ms. Jarah at the MPRC. Each day of the weeklong camp sessions will provide merriment by presenting a different theme supported by arts and crafts, stories, games, gym time, plus a cool splash day. The camp sessions on 6/13–6/16, 6/27–6/30, 7/11–7–14, 7/25–7/28, and 8/8–8/11 will take place Mondays through Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.–1:15 p.m. A session will cost $62 but the instructor will collect a $12 supply fee the first day and attendees need to bring their lunches.

Sports and physical activity will be spotlighted at various classes and clinics.

The Pee Wee Tennis Camp for four- to six-year-olds will introduce its attendees to tennis; its sessions will run from 10:00–10:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays on 6/13–6/16, 6/20–6/23, 7/11–7/14, 7/18–7/21, and 7/25–7/28 for a fee of $24 per session at the LEW Tennis Court, 705 S. Valley Parkway. Tennis players aged 6–13 may want to attend the Jr. Beginner Tennis Clinic, whose qualified instructors will teach them the basic strokes at the LEW Tennis Court on Mondays from 6/13–6/27 and 7/11–8/1 from 5:30–7:00 p.m. for a fee of $72.

Children 6–13 at the Jr. Beginner Tennis Camp will learn from qualified instructors techniques necessary to acquire the fast-paced sport’s basic strokes. This tennis camp will occur on Mondays through Thursdays between 10:30 a.m. and noon at the LEW Tennis Court on 6/13–6/16, 6/20–6/23, 7/11–7/14, 7/18–7/21, and 7/25–7/28 and cost $72.

Players who are 7–13 and have completed the beginner instruction may perfect their skills in the Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Tennis Camp. Qualified instructors will review and emphasize techniques and introduce tactics Mondays through Thursdays during these sessions: 6/13–6/16, 6/20–6/23, 7/11–7/14, 7/18–7/21, and 7/25–7/28. The sessions last from 10:30 a.m. until noon, will be held at the LEW Tennis Court, and cost $72.

The great sports of tennis and swimming will be combined in the Jr. Beginner Tennis & Swim Camp. Youngsters attending this camp will learn all tennis strokes through fun and easy-to-learn instruction and swim Mondays from 10:30 a.m.—1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at Memorial Park’s Sun Valley Aquatic Center; on Wednesdays, the camp will end at noon. The sessions will take place 6/13–6/16, 6/20–6/23, 7/11–7/14, 7/18–7/21, and 7/25–7/28; participants will have to bring a sack lunch and swimsuit daily; the charge will be $88.

The Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Tennis & Swim Camp has the same schedule as the beginner class; however, the Monday–Thursday sessions will run from 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Campers will learn tennis techniques and tactics at the LEW Tennis Court, swim at Memorial Park’s Sun Valley Aquatic Center, and enjoy a sack lunch they bring. The camp will cost $88.

B-ballers aged 8–12 can revel in the 25th annual Young Stars Summer Basketball Camp, whose instructor will be Coach Bernard Scott, a former NCAA Division I official who has coached TAPPS Varsity basketball. Not only will camp be fun but it will also include competitive individual and team basketball activities. Among the skills taught will be dribbling, shooting, passing, and defensive skills, in addition to lessons on basketball rules, sportsmanship, and life skills. Participants will also engage in individual and team drills, physical conditioning, and personal workout programs. Free lunches, snacks, and drinks will be given to campers. Top achievers and performers will be presented with awards.

The camp, which will take place at Mondays through Thursdays 7/18–7/21 and at MPRC from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and will cost $105.
For parents wanting their five- to 10-year-old girls to have fun should enroll them in the Just For Girls Fun Camp set to meet Tues., 6/28, from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. at MPRC. Participants will make jewelry, draw, join in games, and create crafts. They should bring a water bottle and a healthy lunch. The fee will be $42, with an $8 materials fee due at the class’ beginning.

Girls aged 5–11 will be unable to do anything but enjoy the Jump Rope/Hula Hoop Camp scheduled to be held at MPRC Tuesday, 6/21, from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. During the camp, girls will learn to jump rope and use the hula hoop, which will advance their skills and confidence. Parents/guardians are welcome to observe the last hour. Attendees are required to bring a bottle of H2O along with a healthy lunch and wear athletic shoes. Besides the $42 charge, a $5 materials fee will be collected before the class.

Dance enthusiasts aged eight and over might consider attending Dance Video Star during which they will learn a step-by-step breakdown of the choreography in popular music videos. Instructor Zetria Kneeland will honor requests! The class will run on Wednesdays from 6/8–6/29, 7/6–7/27, and 8/3-8/24 between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. at MPRC for a cost of $70 and a $5 supply fee collectible the first day of class.

Youngsters aged 13 and over who are interested in the arts may enjoy the West African Dance Class. Mondays through Fridays 6/13–6/17, 7/25–7/29, and 8/8–8/12 from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Instructor Zetria Kneeland will teach attendees of all levels about African dance. Attendees must wear lappa. The camp will culminate in a performance. To be held at the MPRC, it will cost $60.

Other dance classes in ballet, jazz & tap, and country & Western are also available.

Another interesting offering is the Indian Classic Music Carnatic Style for children ages 6–12. Children will be taught the seven basic notes, how to pair notes and basic loops with the notes, and the concept of the pitch and rhythm of Carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music. The group will also learn songs, both traditional and nontraditional. Instructor Vidya Devaraj will hold the session on Saturdays from 6/5 until 8/14, except for 7/2 from 10:15 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. at the MPRC; the fee will be $158.

To get children aged 4–7 interested and knowledgeable about athletics, parents/guardians might want to consider enrolling them in Skyhawks:

Mini-Hawks will be offered Mondays through Fridays 6/27–7/1 and 8/15–8/19 at the MPRC for a $120 fee. The program will expose those who attend to soccer, basketball, and baseball/T-ball in a safe environment that includes positive reinforcement and good times. Game and various activities will prod campers to develop balance, eye/hand coordination, and skills. Snacks and a water bottle should be brought daily.

Skyhawks: Multi-Sports Camp will enable participants aged 7–12 to enjoy soccer, basketball, baseball, and flag football in just a week (7/11–7/15) from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the MPRC. Besides enjoying the sports, athletes will gain knowledge about each sport’s rules and teamwork with respect. The coaches request that attendees bring snacks and a water bottle. The fee will be $120.

Skyhawks: Flag Football for youth 7–12 will teach them the skills of America’s game—passing, catching that flying oblong, and defense—in a supportive environment. The week of 8/1–8/5 (Monday through Friday) will end in an exciting Skyhawks Super Bowl during which the athletes display their newly acquired gridiron skills to all! Snacks and a water bottle should be brought to the camp, which costs $120, and runs from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the MPRC.

Children ages 6–11 might relish learning the b-ball skills of dribbling, passing, shooting, and rebounding via drills and games at the Basketball Tech Skills Camp that will be in session 6/27–6/30 and 8/8–8/11 at the MPRC Mondays through Thursdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Game scrimmages will take place during each class. A Bowmen Sports coach will serve as the camp’s instructor and the cost is $88. Another camp is available that is only held on Wednesdays from 6:00–7:00 p.m. 6/8–6/29, 7/6–7/27, and 8/3–8/24 for a cost of $48.

Instructor Vergi Scott will urge children aged 6–12 to be active and therefore, fit and strong at the Summer P.E. and Activity Camp. The one-day camp will take place on Tuesdays, June 6 and 14, at the MPRC from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Group activities will include conquering difficult obstacle courses, fitness and body strength sessions, and games that promote agility and coordination. Attendees need to pay a $30 fee and bring a water bottle and healthy snacks and wear athletic shoes.

Americans’ love of soccer is increasing and young fans can enroll in classes that will improve their skills in the sport. Mommy/Daddy & Me Soccer will give parents and children aged 2–31/2 an opportunity to join in age-appropriate activities and help the children develop their large motor and socialization skills. This group meets on Mondays between 6:15 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. from 6/20–8/8 (except 7/4) for a fee of $80 at the MPRC.

Slightly older children, 31/2–5, can attend the Tot/Pre-Soccer group in which Kidz Love Soccer staff will teach them the game’s basic techniques as they build self-esteem and learn how to follow instructions. All attendees will be awarded a Kidz Love Soccer jersey and are required to don shin guards following the first meeting. The group will meet on Mondays 6/20–8/8 except for 7/4 between 5:30 and 6:05 p.m. at the MPRC. The fee for participation will be $80.

During Soccer 1: Techniques & Teamwork, Kidz Love Soccer staff will teach youth ages 5–6 how to dribble, pass, receive, and shoot, and engage in defensive moves. Enjoyable skills games will be played and Kidz Love Soccer jerseys will be distributed to all. The group will meet every Monday except 7/4 from 6/20 to 8/8 from 4:45–5:30 p.m. To be held at the MPRC, the fee for the class will be $80.

The “Hunger Games” movies have put the spotlight on archery. In the Summer Archery Program for youngsters 9–15, Instructor Landon Taylor will teach participants the sport, including marksmanship, and safety. The program will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6/7—6/30 at the FHRC from 5:00–6:00 p.m. The fee will be $125.

Children aged 6-12 and 13+ who want to gain karate skills may do so in the Karate class led by top-notch Instructor Takao Nakaya. Besides the physical art of Karatedo, students will be taught karate’s history and principles, plus self-discipline, self-confidence, and character. The younger set can attend on Tuesday from 6:30—7:45 p.m. 6/7–7/12 or 7/19–8/23 at the FHRC for $44, while the older ones may also come Tuesdays 6/7–7/12 or 7/19–8/23 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the same center for $50. Be aware extra costs will be incurred for gi and belt test(s).

Summer without swimming would be a drag, so Lewisville Parks & Leisure Services offers youth a variety of swimming lessons. All classes will be held at Memorial Park’s Sun Valley Aquatic Center and run Mondays through Thursdays. Parent & Tot will help parents/guardians learn water safety before putting their children age 6 months to four years old in the water and staying by their side. The classes will be from 8:40–9:10 a.m. or from 7:10–7:40 p.m. and will cost $35.

Level 1 – Water Comfort will teach kids three years+ how to kick, enter and exit water by themselves, and floating. The parents/guardians do not get in the water with the children. Times vary: 8:00–8:30 a.m., 8:40–9:10 a.m., 9:20–9:50 a.m., 7:10–7:40 p.m., or 7:50–8:20 p.m. The class will cost $35.

Swimmers who or do not fear putting their faces in the water or have completed Level 1 can take Level 2 – Floating in which they will become capable of independent front or back floats in 30-minute sessions held at 8:00–8:30 a.m., 8:40–9:10 a.m., 7:10–7:40 p.m., or 7:50–8:20 p.m. The fee for the class will be $35.

After attending Level 3 – Basic Kicks, swimming students will emerge able to produce front and back flutter kicks for 15 yards without assistance. The 40-minute classes will be available from 9:20–10:00 a.m., 10:00–10:40 a.m., or 7:50–8:30 p.m. for a cost of $40.

Lastly, Level 4 – Basic Arms will enable participants who must have passed Level 3 to alternate their arms for front and back crawls for a 20-yard distance with rotary breathing and dive from a kneeling position. The times will be 9:20–10:00 a.m. or 7:50–8:30 p.m.

Participants in a Ducky Derby cheer on their ducks as they float towards the finish line. Photo courtesy of Lewisville Parks & Leisure Services.
Participants in a Ducky Derby cheer on their ducks as they float towards the finish line. Photo courtesy of Lewisville Parks & Leisure Services.

Parks & Leisure Services didn’t stop with planning these great summer camps—they’re also offering other fun-filled days this summer. One is the Ducky Derby for all ages scheduled to be held at the Sun Valley Aquatic Center located at Memorial Park Sat., July 9, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Participants buy a duck for $6, which includes admission to the race for one person, by Fri., July 1; decorate the duck to their liking; and bring it back to Memorial Park by Wed., July 6. A $3 entrance fee will be charged to any additional attendees not entering the race.

At 10:00 a.m., the ducks will be released and floating in each Derby Duck Race and a prize will be awarded to the fastest duck and to the best-decorated duck. In-N-Out Burger will serve a snack lunch at 11:00 a.m. Raising Cane’s and Lewisville Kids Dentistry will sponsor the race. For more information about the Ducky Derby, call the MPRC at 972-219-5061.

All children love their teddy bears and the third annual Teddy Bear Picnic that will happen at the Wayne Frady Park at 535 W. College St. Sun., July 10, from 3:00–5:00 p.m. will give them an opportunity to picnic with their beloved furry buddies. Those teddy bears may be donated to PediPlace representatives who will distribute them to the children of low-income families. Because the event is free, participants will gain entrance to the aquatic park and the Lewisville Police Department will check car seat to ensure their safety.

Other special events will include National Trails Day (June 4), Night Hikes, Nature Walks, Stars on the Prairie, Log House Open House, Migration Bird Banding, and Nature Lovers’ Book and Hike Club.

Parks & Leisure Services’ mission is “to provide and develop adequate resources within safe and pleasant environments, to encourage and nurture self-expression, education, physical and mental health, personal growth, family and community enjoyment, independence, and teamwork for citizens of all ages in the City of Lewisville” and it’s obvious these camps/clinics/classes/special events work to ensure that mission is fulfilled. To obtain more information about any of these offerings, dial up the dedicated folks at Parks & Leisure Services at 972-219-3550 or peruse their Wow Summer Brochure.

The three one-week LLELA Summer Camps offers area children alternatives. Held in the great outdoors, the sessions run June 6–10, June 13–17, and June 20–24 but if parents/guardians don’t wish their children to attend a camp for an entire week, they may opt to have them attend just Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The LLELA Summer Camps will take place at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), which encompasses more than 2,000 acres of prairies, forests, and wetlands the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of North Texas, the City of Lewisville, and Lewisville ISD manage as wildlife preserve. The LLELA Nature Preserve is a venue for fishing, hiking, camping, bird-watching, kayaking/canoeing, picnicking, plus other outdoor activities; the Nature Preserve is open daily. To enter the preserve, go to 201 E. Jones Street at the corner of Jones and Kealy Streets.

Parents/guardians will not have to pay the normal $5 admission fee for vehicles when dropping off their children at LLELA camps.

Youth entering 2nd–4th grades will participate in the following activities at LLELA Camp:
• Little House on the Prairie: Children will experience what pioneer children felt when they inhabited and performed chores at a log home on the prairie, construct a historic craft to take home, and locate prairie wildflowers.
• Paddle and Stomp: Campers will learn basic kayaking skills on McWhorter Creek (of water levels permit), and then hike the trails in a quest to spy wildlife.
• Incredible Insects: Attendees will be taught about the strange lives of insects as they wander LLELA to gather these fascinating creatures with a sweep net.
• Pond Investigators: Youngsters will learn about the cornucopia of life that include dragonflies, frogs, and other life forms thriving in ponds by exploring them with dip nets, hand lenses, sampling trays, and other tools.
• The Art of Nature: Children will create works of art that express their feelings after they’re exposed to Mother Nature’s wondrous sights and sounds.

LLELA Camp activities for children entering 5th-7th grade will encompass:
• Winged Wonders: Campers will learn how LLELA teems with birds—it’s home to over 280 species. They’ll learn how to use binoculars to watch our winged neighbors.
• Gone Fishin’: Beginning anglers will not only learn fishing basics—tieing fishing knots, baiting hooks, and casting lines, but they’ll also learn fishing safety while fishing a pond or the Elm Fork.
• Tracks and Traces: Attendees will learn how to detect which creatures have hiked the trails by observing their tracks and identifying their scat (poop) and other traces like broken branches they’ve left in their wake.
• Paddle and Pedal: Campers will explore LLELA as they pedal mountain bikes on beginner-level trails to seek thrilling glimpses of wildlife and evidence of its presence, and then learn to kayak the preserve’s waters, if water levels permit.
• Home on the Range: Fans of the TV show “Little House on the Prairie” will have a chance experience life on the frontier as they do “chores” at the log house, create a craft to take home, plus more.
An entire week of an LLELA camp will cost $190/child; $130/child is the cost for the M/W/F sessions. LLELA camps operate between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily, but an extended day that runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. is available for another $30 a week per child.

You may obtain registration forms for LLELA Camps at LLELA.org. To view information on the camps, visit http://llela.unt.edu/summer-camp-2016 or call 972-219-3930, call the City of Lewisville’s Parks & Leisure Services at 972-219-3550, or email Lisa Cole at lcole@cityoflewisville.com. PLEASE NOTE: the registration deadline for LLELA camps will be this Tuesday, May 31.

Wow—that’s a multitude of opportunities for the children of Lewisville and surrounding communities to experience an amazing summer. Hats off to the dedicated personnel who work so hard to provide our children with such special activities—Director Bob Monaghan, Secretary LaDonna Lundy, Secretary Deborah Sick, Parks Manager Larry Apple, Recreation Manager Hilary Boen, Athletic Supervisor Ramiro Espinosa Jr., Aquatic Supervisor Teresa Milam, Recreation Center Supervisor Darrin Williams (MPRC), and Recreation Specialists Eric Wellman, Adam Shorter, Cassie Kinkade, and Falyn Westbrook.

Author’s Note: I’d love to go back to Girl Scout camp again!

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