It’s Summer Camp Season! – by Tony Thomas

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Now that spring break is over, you may be thinking about summer and wondering what you are going to do with your children to make sure they’re productive. There are so many options to choose from and picking a summer activity for your children can be overwhelming at times.

Summer camps can create anxiety in not just kids, but parents too. It can be challenging to find the right setting for your child with a theme they’re interested in while being cost-effective. At the Manassas Park Community Center, we have been implementing fun and engaging summer camps for years. We pride ourselves in creating welcoming and friendly atmospheres for parents and children with budget-conscious prices in mind. Our ultimate goal is to provide a positive and unforgettable summer camp experience.

Just the other day I was in the gymnasium when a young woman approached me and asked me if I remembered her. At first glance, I didn’t, but then she talked to me about her time in summer camps with us nine years ago. She is now 20, but remembers the fun games and staff that welcomed her when she was 11 years old. This is just one example of the kind of positive impact that our staff wants to make in campers’ lives.

During the fall and winter months, we are hard at work researching themes, games, activities, and crafts that help set our summer camps apart from others in the area.

In 2019, we are offering the following themes:

Playschool – Mini H20 and Go, Rocking the Red, White and Blue, Roaring Dinosaurs, Superheroes Unleashed, Art-Tastic, Junior Chefs, Science Galore, and It’s a Bug Life.

School Age – Messy Art, Gym Jam Camp, Martial Arts Olympics, Experiments Galore, H20 and Go, Samurai Warriors, Clay Creations, Basketball Camp, Ninja Warrior Challenge, Forensic Files, Soccer Camp, All Over the World, All Sports Camp, On Broadway, Friendly Competition, Flag Football, and Kids Choice Camp.

Teens – Adventure Camp, Helping Hands, Cooking Camp, Junior Lifeguard, Business and Entrepreneur Camp, View from the Top, World Tour, and Challenge Complete Camp.

School Age offers before and after camp care, while Playschool and Teen Camps offer an after camp option. This gives parents more time to drop off and pick up their children if their schedules don’t always match!

New to camp this year are a few updates to our registration processes and procedures. We wanted to make this registration as convenient as possible for you, so you’ll now have the ability to sign up for camps online! The process to sign up online is as follows:

  • Complete the form for your child’s age group (can be found here).
  • Create an account on Rec1.
  • Add credit card information on to your account.
  • Email completed form and last four digits of your credit card to the email at the top of the form.
  • A Customer Service Supervisor will enter the camps/camp care you requested and set up a payment plan for payments to come out the Friday before the camp starts.
  • You will receive an email confirmation of camp/camp care registration.

You still have the option to sign up in person at the front desk of the Community Center.

Our enrollment and payment policy has also been updated for this summer:

You must register your child one week prior to their chosen programs, including turning in completed registration forms. If you are already registered and need to un-enroll or switch camps (capacity permitting), you must make these changes one week prior to the chosen program.

You must have a credit card on file for payment. Payments are drafted the Friday prior to each camp.

Finally, we have created a summer camp handbook for parents that covers pertinent topics regarding your camper’s participation in summer camps. We hope that this handbook will serve as a tool to provide you with answers to frequently asked questions and provide insight into our policies and procedures.

We are excited to welcome your children into our summer camps. We believe that our camps will foster positive experiences and memories for many years to come!

Tony Thomas is the Recreation Services Supervisor for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at t.thomas@manassasparkva.gov.

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