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ARD day camps keep kids active

Sleuths on the loose at Recreation Park
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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There are crimes to be solved at Recreation Park, and a team of school-aged gumshoes is on the case.

The spring break theme of The Auburn Recreation District’s Discovery Club Day Camp is “Junior Detective Week.” Youth Services Manager Debbie Thomas said children in kindergarten through sixth grade will spend this week and next Monday learning about fingerprinting, DNA, disguises, secret messages, codes and crime-solving skills at Recreation Park.

“We try to weave in some teaching, some education, into it so they’re learning while they’re also having fun,” Thomas said.

The camp happens rain or shine, combining indoor crafts and learning activities with outdoor games such as “Fugitives,” a new twist on “Red Light, Green Light.” Other games take on detective themes as well, such as “Steal the Jewels” and “Eyewitness.” Thomas said the games are kept age-appropriate, and the kids are split into younger and older age groups.

Mason Yokum, 7, said his favorite detective game was when the children changed one part of their appearance, such as adjusting a piece of clothing so it was backward, and the other kids had to figure out what was different.

Plus, Mason said, “We find crimes and all that.”

“I’m having a great time at camp – I love camp!” said Tricia Ruff, Discovery Club director at Skyridge Elementary School, as she kept an eye on the children while they played a game of “Fugitives.”

The goal of Discovery Club, Ruff said, is for kids to have a good time while learning and staying physically active. For example, she said, on Monday they learned about fingerprints. “Hopefully they’ve walked away with a little bit of knowledge about fingerprints, especially their own.”

ARD’s spring break camps this year feature horseback riding and tennis in addition to “Junior Detectives.” Parents may enroll their children in the Discovery Club Day Camp either for a half-day or whole day, which runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thomas said.

“There seems to be a need for parents who typically will use preschool and afterschool care for their kids, because they are working,” said Sheryl Petersen, recreation services manager for ARD. “They’re looking for a place for their kids for that week, or they’re looking for an enrichment experience.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at krissik@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter, @AuburnJournalAE.

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Discovery Club Day Camp

Parents can still sign their children up for the “Junior Detective” day camp.

When: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and Monday, April 9. Half-days run 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 12:30-6 p.m.

Where: Recreation Park, 123 Recreation Drive, Auburn

Cost: $27 per day; $20 per half-day

Sign up: (530) 889-5619