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First Day of Summer Camp

The Recreation Department had its first day of camp on Tuesday.

The Recreation Department’s summer camp got off to a great start Tuesday as almost 90 kids swam and played at and Crandall Park.

Camp counselor Kelli Hyjek said that the kids and counselors are already having a blast.

“I had a lot of fun here as a kid,” Hyjek said, who was a camper for seven years. “What’s better than being paid to play outside?”

The counselors have a memorable summer lined up for their campers. According to Camp Director Rebecca Likar, visiting guests will include jugglers, stunt bikers, a Mad Science presentation on movie effects and various sea creatures, courtesy of the Mystic Aquarium traveling touch tank.

Likar said that the visitors and the camp’s daily activities correspond to the theme of week, which is divided further into days. For example, campers will also be searching for a hidden fish on “Finding Nemo Day,” the same day that the Mystic Aquarium will be visiting.

“Each day is something different,” she said. “There’s a special activity for them to look forward to.”

Some of the weekly themes include a holiday week, spirit week, movie week and Olympics week.

To manage such an excited bunch, Likar says the campers are broken down into three groups, based on age. Kids from kindergarten to grade 10 are allowed to participate. Likar said that the number of counselors can vary, but that the camp is always staffed to maintain an 8-1 ratio of kids to counselors.

For the first year, the campers are using the former Parker Memorial School, as well as Crandall Park. According to Likar, the campers are primarily using the two Parker Memorial rooms for arts and crafts and lunch before being walked over to Crandall Park for afternoon swimming. They also get to use the indoor gymnasium at the old school.

Hyjek said that this year’s group of kids is in for a fun summer, especially because the counselors, many of whom have worked together before, will work hard to make the summer memorable.

“We make it fun,” Hyjek said.

The camp will run for seven weeks. According to Likar, parents can still register their children for the upcoming weeks on the town’s Web site or by bringing the registration form into the office.

For more information, call the Recreation Department at 860-871-3610. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is also an optional extended day from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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