Whether your child is interested in hiking and camping, arts and crafts, or working with technology, there is a summer experience that will suit them at one of the Temple Parks & Recreation’s summer camps.
“We have three main camps that are Camp Harmony and Horizon, which are housed out of Pirtle Elementary on the west side [of town], and Camp Heatwave that is housed out of Wilson Park Recreation Center on the east side,” said Temple Parks & Rec program coordinator, Miranda Lugo. “We also have a bunch of mini camps that offer specialized activities throughout the summer.”
Camp Harmony, Horizon and Heatwave are all-day, Monday through Friday, all summer long. The mini camps are weekly and mostly half-day. They are great for kids who want to get the summer camp experience on a smaller scale, Lugo said.
“Our camps are what we like to call, adventure-based, but really they’re skills-based,” she said. “Whether that’s learning skills about team-building, arts and crafts, or science, or going out and learning about trails and how to camp. Our goal is to build up these youth and teach them skills they will use in school, in their careers and their personal lives.”
The camps have been so successful in the past that former camp kids have come back to be camp counselors.
“Several of our staff last year were former camp kids, and this year we also have a high number of staff members returning,” Lugo said.
Belinda Garcia, another program coordinator for the Parks & Rec department said she thinks the high return rate speaks volumes about the environment the team creates for the kids who participate.
“We even have families with three or four kids who all work for us at some point,” Garcia said. “They start out as campers and then we help them to grow up and be successful adults.
While every camp offers children the chance to do what they love, Garcia said the department is particularly excited about a new camp that allows kids the chance to create their own video games.
“We partnered with Temple College to provide these tech camps,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for the kids to be on campus and see what college life is all about.”
Because the camps are so popular, Garcia said it is important for parents to get their children signed up as soon as possible. To see what camps are available, visit www.ci.temple.tx.us or call the Parks & Recreation department at (254) 298-6740.
“All of us here love what we do and the kids who come for camp,” Garcia said. “We’re ready for the fun to start, so send them our way.”
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.