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Park District Camps Learn To Beat Heat

Staff adjusts children’s summer programs to let the campers cool off.

With excessive heat last week and more forecast Monday and Tuesday, the has been adjusting its children’s summer camp programs to keep the campers cool and hydrated with more swimming and cooling games. 

As a result of the precautions including allowing parents to get their children as early as 1 p.m. before the warmest part of the day, there were no adverse health related incidents, according to camp coordinators reached by Patch. 

When programs were scheduled in schools or other facilities without air conditioning, the first thing Director of Recreation Linda Anderson did was switch locations to put the children in air conditioned facilities. 

“For camp sites that do not have air-conditioning, busses are added to transport day camps to other of our air conditioned recreation facilities, such as and ,” Anderson said. 

The camp equipment goes on the bus as well, according to Early Childhood Recreation Supervisor Ginny Wiemerslage. “We bring parachutes,” she said describing one of the games. “We may be in the lobby of an air conditioned building.” 

With most programs including some form of swimming activities, Anderson increased the swimming time from approximately one hour to two hours. Besides swimming, other water activities were added to the day. 

“Staff and campers are reminded to use more frequent water breaks and utilize other water-type activities like use of wading pools and hoses,” Anderson said. Most outdoor activity was also limited to shady areas. 

One of those activities is Drip, Drip, Drop, an aquatic version of Duck, Duck Goose, according to Wiemerslage. 

“The children sit in a circle and instead of tapping, the person drips water on the head of the others,” Wiemerslage said. “The cup is goose. That person gets a cup of water on their head and has to run around the circle.”

Those who may be shy about the activity help the counselor. “Everybody gets a little wet,” Wiemerslage said. 

Even children in specialized camps get some extra pool time from some of the youngest to the older campers. 

“Art camp and my campers use the Splash Patch,” Wiemerslage said of a wading pool at Deerspring Park. “Sports camp goes to open swim and they stay at the pool a little longer.” 

With the heat set to return over the weekend to greet the campers Monday, the camp staff is now ready. “It provides us with a challenge,” Wiemerslage said. “It shows us how well we work together. 

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Paradise July 11, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Your efforts have been greatly appreciated! Thanks so much.

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