The time has come! The 2018 summer camp season is finally here. In my last blog, I talked about how to become an efficient camp leader. I also talked about the theme for this summer, which is to revamp camps. Let me give you a brief update. We have completed the hiring process for our summer staff and began training on June 18. This summer, we have a good mix of returning staff leaders and aides as well as a host of new faces. Training week consisted of going over all the necessary policies and procedures that we require in order to be exemplary City of Manassas Park employees. Training week was very successful! The fresh faces integrated well with the wily veterans as if they had known each other before. I truly believe this has to do with the selection process that my colleague Jacquelyn Tyre-Perry and I made during our summer job fair back in March. Kudos, Jacque!
Each day of training week we learned and laughed, but most importantly, we became a team. This is vital to the success of our summer camps. We believe that if staff is actively engaged and adequately prepared with the necessary tools for work, then the camp day will run smooth, parents will be at ease with staff, and campers will have fun. We know your expectation is for us to provide a safe and fun environment for your little ones.
The feedback we got from staff thus far has been positive. They are confident that they have been properly prepared for this season. Camp season officially began on Monday, June 25 and you can absolutely tell that the hard work and preparation that the Recreation Services team (Tony Thomas, Sue Jurjevic, Jacquelyn Tyre-Perry, Heather Henry, Kaitlyn Collier, and me) put in during training week has been well received. In just the first few days of camp, things have run as smooth as can be. As the beginning of camp sessions was nearing, anticipation and excitement were clear, yet there was also a sense of comfort when staff began their first day with the kids. Leaders and aides have been on their A game as they navigate through our first series of camps.
If you have not done so already, stop by the Community Center and enroll in one of our summer camps. Our staff has been trained to be fantastic role models, energetic leaders, and to keep your children safe and happy at camp. I will say our leaders and aides are awesome, and when you arrive on the first day of camp, they will greet you with big smiles, offer you a good morning, and accept your arrival with excitement. They are so glad you are there and they want your children to have the best time ever. They know just how to help you transition from home to camp.
Mike Arrington is the Recreation Specialist for Athletics for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at (703) 335-8872 or via email at M.Arrington@ManassasParkVA.gov.