With 15 camps to offer, the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department can be a one-stop shop for parents looking for a fun place to send their children this summer.
Kathy Sullivan, the marketing and communication supervisor for the Parks and Recreation Center, said the center has camps ranging from training to be a junior lifeguard to learning how to skateboard.
Camps run June 23 to Aug. 22, and children ages 5 to 17 are welcome to attend. Some of the more popular camps offered include Junior Lifeguards, Aqua Camp, Nature Camp and Skateboard Camp, Sullivan said. Parents shouldn’t wait to sign up their children because the camps almost always fill up, she said. Last year, about 2,300 youths participated in the programs.
Another popular camp, Sullivan said, is the Doggone Fun! Camp, which ran for the first time last summer. In this program, kids take their dogs to camp with them and learn how to take care of their pets, train them and have old-fashioned doggone fun.
Most of these camps are one to two weeks long, so youths can sign up for more than one camp. Aqua Camp, Nature Camp, Sports Camp and Beach Camp are full-day programs, but the rest of the programs run only in the mornings or afternoons.
Counselors for the camps are well-trained, Sullivan said, and they know CPR and first aid. Often the counselors are already involved in programs at the Parks and Recreation Center, she said. “We look for people with experience with kids,” Sullivan said.
Youths ages 12 to 16 also can train to be a counselor with the center’s Junior Counselor Program. Plan ahead for next year: Applications are due in early April. Those accepted work under the main counselors for the summer. Many junior counselors become regular counselors, Sullivan said.