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For The Olympian |
South Sound youths will have no problem staying busy with outdoor activities in the summer.
Community events are a staple in South Sound, giving youth the opportunity to get off the couch, use their imaginations and make human connections that are meaningful and healthy, says Marcie Pickett-Johnson, education programs coordinator at the Hands On Children’s Museum.
“Moving, playing and exploring are experiences which research shows are critical for brain development and well-being,” she said. “…With an unplugged summer of day camps and activities, kids are able to make new friends from across the larger more diverse community, try new things and problem-solve in a safe environment, gain self-esteem and independence.”
One option for those who want an “unplugged summer” is the museum’s ninth annual Sand in the City sand-sculpting contest. It’s Aug. 21 to 23. For more information about activities at the museum, go to www.hocm.org.
If you aren’t into competitions, kids ages 6 to 12 can enjoy SKIPP, a free drop-in playground program through Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation. There are two sites, Woodruff Park and Lions Park. This is a free drop-in program, but parents are required to complete an “emergency information” form the first day of attendance.
For a fun evening, the Aug. 8 Parks, Arts and Recreation event, “Stories in the Park/Stories in the Dark,” will feature stories for families from 7 to 8 p.m., and “Spooky Stories and Creepy Tales” from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Priest Point Park.
If you’d prefer daytime stories, there are Lunchtime Stories in the Park from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. June 16 at the Yashiro Japanese Garden, and from noon to 1 p.m. July 7 at Percival Landing Park. For more information, call 360-570-5858.
“What You Got?” a regional youth arts festival, will take place Sept. 25 to 27 in downtown Olympia. The event typically features live bands, films, photography and art. For information, email email@example.com.
Every Saturday night at Olympia Downtown YMCA is Late Night Teen. Youths ages 14 to 19 can play basketball, swim or listen to music for free from 8 to 11 p.m. Briggs Community YMCA also sponsors a middle school late night from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturdays.
The city of Tumwater offers a teen drop-in program in its Old Town Center. It’s available for youths in grades 3 through 12 Monday to Thursday from 2:30 to 8 p.m. On Fridays, the drop-in program’s hours for grades 3 to 6 are 2:30 to 9 p.m. For grades 7 to 12, Friday hours are 2:30 to 11 p.m.
The Tumwater teen drop-in center is closed some Fridays during the school year while staff members run the late-night program at one of the Tumwater School District high schools. The center offers a snack, pool/foosball tables, gym/basketball court, computer access, tutoring, air hockey, Playstation 2 and xBox, board and card games, big screen TV/VCR/DVD, field trips, Community Service opportunities, arts and crafts, leadership and more.
Tumwater Parks and Recreation’s Tumwater Youth Program also is offering Teen Trips. They include a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays July 29; a three-night teen adventure challenge July 7-10; three nights at Camp Cascadia with swimming, hiking, canoeing, sports, paintball and more; Mt. St. Helens Ape Caves exploration trip Aug. 4; a skate park tour Aug. 6; a paintball trips Aug. 11 and 20; kayaking Aug. 13; and a trip to Wild Waves Aug 18.
For more information on other summer trips and summer sports camps offered by Tumwater Parks and Recreation, call 360-754-4160.
Lacey Parks and Recreation has Teen Adventure Camps for ages 12-15 from June 24 to July 31 as well as overnight trips July 7 to 10, Aug. 4 to 7 and Aug. 11 to 14. Call 360-491-0857.