Hed: Tupelo to start summer recreation programs sign-up Tuesday
By Philip Moulden
Registration begins Tuesday for numerous summer recreation and day-camp programs in Tupelo.
The city Parks and Recreation Department will be filling programs for children’s day camps, a special camp for disabled children, and swimming and tennis programs.
“It’s on a first-come, first-served basis,” noted department spokeswoman Sha Brooks. “They really fill up fast.”
Tupelo residents will get first shot at the offerings Tuesday, with city sign-ups scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m at the Parks and Recreation office, 1200 N. Gloster St.
The process will resume at 8 a.m. Wednesday, with registration then opened to people who reside outside the city as well as those inside. Sign-up will continue on succeeding days until all programs are filled.
Camp Discovery, which runs weekly from June 6 through the week of July 26 except for the week of July 8, provides a wide range of experiences for physically and mentally disabled children from kindergarten age to 12 years old.
“We’re the only place in the state that has this kind of program that I know of, unless someone started one this year,” Brooks noted. “It’s been a great success. If gives these children a chance to have recreational activities and not just be left at home.”
Virtually each day offers something different, with arts, crafts, games, swimming, movies, field trips and special events on tap. The cost is $35 a week per child, or $30 per child if more than one is enrolled from the same family.
Two regular day camps – at City Park and Augustus Park – will run weekly between June 2 and Aug. 3 for children from kindergarten to fifth and sixth grades. The camps will be limited to 90 participants per week, with 40 slots set aside as guaranteed for all nine weeks.
Parents wanting to assure a spot for the duration must pay three weeks in advance. The cost is $35 a week ($30 per child if more than one in family) for Tupelo residents and $45 per week for non-Tupelo participants. The other 50 slots are allotted weekly until filled.
“That (guaranteed camp) is what really fills up fast,” Brooks said.
Two separate swimming programs are offered, one provided by the recreation department that offers lesson to children ages 2 to 7 with a wide variety of abilities. The other provides Red Cross certification for various ages and skill levels, eventually progressing to “water safety instructor.”
Swimming lessons include both weekly sessions running two hours a day and two-week sessions that run about one hour a day.
The cost for the recreation department swimming lessons is $30 for Tupelo residents and $35 for nonresidents. The Red Cross sessions are $20 for residents and $25 for nonresidents.
Those registering for the Red Cross programs must present certification cards from last year in order to be assigned to the next level this year.
Tennis lessons will begin June 3 and run on two-week schedules, for about 45 minutes a day. Evening sessions are also offered. They cover beginners (ages 8-12), advanced beginner (ages 13-15) and intermediate (depending on skill level). The cost is $40.