School is out for the summer and the City of Riverbank’s Parks and Recreation Department has the youth in the community covered with a variety of summer camps to get kids outdoors, socializing, and learning. Among those offerings was Outdoor Adventure Camp, hosted outdoors at Jacob Myers Park. The week long camp started on June 20 and lasted until Friday, June 24 for kids ages 6 to 12, running from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.
Although the weather was warm the staff had adventures planned each day that included crafts, nature walks, exploring, games, water activities and a whole lot of fun.
Recreation Specialist Stephanie Argumedo and assistant camp leaders, Dulce Piceno and Jose Lopez made sure to keep the youngsters entertained with daily activities. The campers were kept in the shade and had cold water drink to stay hydrated during the week while summer temperatures were rising.
The shaded Burney Pavilion was the prime area utilized for craft activities where campers could use their creativity and design their own flags, mops, and visors to name a few.
“They got to decorate their own flags with their ‘tribe’ names,” said Argumedo. “We got little plastic mops that we had and they had to decorate them like little people. We used mostly recycling stuff, like toilet paper rolls that they used to make their own tribe family. They used plastic spoons that we had.”
Starbucks donated hot coffee cup sleeves that the campers cut up and used for a craft project where they were given several different items to make their very own creation.
Each day the campers would go on at least one nature walk to explore the park which led them to different areas of the park. One day they participated in a scavenger hunt which included finding interesting things provided by nature like specific leaves, rocks, and plants.
With the different shapes and color leaves that were collected during one of the hikes the campers made a unique leaf collage on a piece of paper.
The campers also participated in National Olympics Day held every year on June 23 where they competed in an obstacle course race. The girls and the boys were split into two teams and the group to finish the course in the fastest time won, with the girls claiming the victory. Camp leaders Argumedo and Lopez participated in the race competing against each other for the two teams. Included in the obstacle race were a potato sack run and five slides that each person had to conquer along with several other obstacles.
“I honestly think it is a pretty great camp,” said Lopez. “I think the kids enjoy the camp a lot.”
He added that many times, the leaders discovered the participants had a better suggestion of ways to do things.
“We tell them to do the crafts one way but kids decide to do it their own way and that is actually better for them,” he noted. “They do their own style and they come up with things that we didn’t expect. So it is a little extra coming out of the activity.”
With the variety of activities and keeping the heat in mind, the campers also got to have some water fun during the camp.