Looking Back At Summer – By Eliut Morales

Three girls look at the camera smiling. The closest girl is in focus and wearing a yellow apron. She is painting a heart shaped piggy bank red.

Three girls look at the camera smiling. The closest girl is in focus and wearing a yellow apron. She is painting a heart shaped piggy bank red.Summer is finally coming to an end, and now it’s time to prepare for the school year! If you have kids in school, that means it’s time to fix their sleeping schedule and start shopping for school supplies. For us, it means wrapping up another season of summer camps.

Each summer, our team puts together a variety of weekly camps with different themes, activities, and games. Much like our Preschool and Extended Care programs, we see many new and returning faces every year! Kristen Underwood, one of our Summer Camp Leaders, said, “My favorite part about camps is that we get to meet kids from a lot of different cultures.”

“If I had to choose, I would say my favorite part about camps is meeting all the new kids and getting to know them throughout the weeks. It makes me so happy to see how loving they are,” added Sam Contreras, who is also a Camp Leader.

While camps consist of a lot of fun and games, our staff also understands the importance of being in charge of large groups of children. Contreras mentioned, “One of my biggest challenges was learning and adapting to each kid’s needs. Understanding that each one of them is unique really took a lot of preparation.”

Each week showed children a new theme such as all sports, escape rooms, and even a Broadway-style play! All camps focused on teamwork, communication, and active participation. Both Leaders expressed how they hope that kids will go back to school with new communication skills. “Even simple tasks like raising their hand and waiting for their turn to speak can go a long way in the classroom,” said Underwood.

If you were part of our summer camp programs this year, we hope your children had as much fun as our staff! Contreras added, “My experience with the kids was amazing. They reminded me what it’s like to be a kid again by just having fun. They gave us so much love and I’m glad we could be part of their summer.”

Thank you for another exciting summer, and we hope to see you next year!

Eliut Morales is the Writer/Content Specialist for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at e.morales@manassasparkva.gov.

Leave a comment