By DENISE HERSCHEL
TINTON FALLS – Trying to find a way for your child to be happy and busy this summer without he or she repeatedly announcing “ “I’m bored” can be a daunting task.
With the unlimited energy and the limited attention span of most youngsters, it can be difficult to reel them into activities. The borough of Tinton Falls has put together a summer program which addresses such a dilemma. With a long-standing recreational summer camp the young residents can manage to find their vacation filled with trips, sports and art activities.
“Our camp has been in existence for more than 20 years,” said Mary Willman, assistant recreation superintendent. “It is one of our most popular organized programs for the department. We usually have about 200 campers every year. This year so far we have about 150 campers registered.”
The camp program is only open to Tinton Falls residents who are between the ages of four to 14.
The Little Kids Camp is a specifically designed all inclusive program for preschool children ages four and five by October 30, 2013. The program is held at Monmouth Regional High School in the air-conditioned library separate from the older kids summer camp program.
“The camp is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, July 8 through Aug. 1. The kids will enjoy outdoor games, indoor activities, songs, dance, art projects, weekly Fun Bus Activity, special events and local trips. The camper to counselor ratio is 1 to 4. Each day a theme is selected and the kids enjoy the daily theme in their art project, games, story and more,” Willman said.
The Little Kids Summer Camp is taught by Colleen DeFillips, a certified Preschool teacher and her team. This year’s off-site trips and activities include: July 11-Asbury Park Splash Park; July 16-Monmouth Museum; July 18-23 and 29-All American Gymnastics; July 22-Clearview Cinemas; July 24-Bounce U; and July 30-Jersey Shore Pirate Ship. The cost for the program is $508 for four days, inclusive of all trips and activities.
The regular recreation summer camp is for Tinton Falls residents children only who are as of September 2013 entering grades one to nine. The camp is held Monday through Thursday beginning July 8 through Aug. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Monmouth Regional High School in the cafeteria. The camp will also be using the soccer/field hockey fields adjacent to the southern end of the building.
“The children are divided into age groups. The counselor to camper supervision ratio is one to eight. The counselors range from high school students to college students. We have certified teachers who directly supervise the children and counselors,” Willman said.
On-site activities include: outdoor and indoor activities, passive games, art activities, board games, special events, an optional science program, and field trips. This year the price of camp includes an off-site trip to Clearview Cinemas as a movie theater trip. This trip takes place on July 22 and includes a snack-pack popcorn and soda.
The overall cost for camp is $462 and includes the following: Big Screen Wii Games on July 9; ice cream sundae day- July 18; carnival day/field games/squirt tag at Sycamore Field-Aug.1 and Kids DJ – Aug. 8 (last day of camp). All of these activities are included in the price of the camp. There are an array of activities/trips which are not included in the camp fee. Examples include: Fun Bus (Campers Grades 1-3)- $20 fee; Blackbeard’s Cave (All campers) – $26 fee; and Asbury Splash Park (Campers 1-3) – $16 fee.
There are also several other camps available for one-week programs. They include KIDZART Summer Camp, US Sports Multisports Camp, Tennis Instruction and US Sports Lacrosse Camp. For information about these camps or any other programs go to Tinton Falls Recreation’s website at www.tintonfalls.com.
According to Willman there are 50 summer camp staff members including four supervisors, counselors who are high school and college students and four CIT (counselors in training) positions.
“It’s the quality of our staff who really make our camp. The kids really enjoy their counselors. We are very lucky with the staff we have. We have many kids who come back every year to be with us,” she added.
For more information about the summer camp program contact Tinton Falls Recreation Department at 732-542-3400 ext. 253.