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New location chosen for West Point summer camp

WEST POINT — There is a new location for the West Point Parks & Recreation Summer Playground Program.

The longtime summer camp is moving from West Point Elementary to the West Point Cares Center at 1128 OG Skinner Drive.

“There’s adequate space at the youth center,” West Point Parks & Recreation Director Mike Pitts said. “We have a playground out in the back that they can use.”

There’s also an indoor gym that the participating children can play in on the hottest days of the summer.

The logistics of the program will remain the same, a cold breakfast and hot lunch will continue to be provided. The cold breakfasts feature cereal, fruit, and pop tarts. The hot lunches are typically hot pockets, fruit, and juice. The hours of the camp are still from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Monday through Friday and the program is still free. The children begin each morning with exercises in the gym before beginning organized activities or hosting the occasional free day of play with board games. The occasional, surprise trips to a community pool might also be taken during the summer, according to Pitts.

Parks & Recreation Administrative Assistant Travena Hodo has worked with the program for more than 15 years now. Not only have her children and grandchildren gone through the program, but she went through the summer camp herself as a middle school student.

“It gives the kids something to do during the summer,” Hodo said. “It’s a safe place for them to play and where they can just have fun. The parents don’t really have to worry about them and the fun part is for us, the parents enjoy that it’s a safe place for them.”

Parents interested in registering their children in the playground program are encouraged to register at the new recreation department at 1102 Ave D in West Point. The department can also be reached at (706) 645-3529.

The campers have a permission slip to fill out, which will be used to determine whether they will walk home or take the bus. The campers also have another option to spend the rest of the day at a separate program that begins immediately following the playground camp.

The West Point CARES program runs year round as a destination for children to go during after school hours. Unlike the playground program, CARES does charge parents for students to participate over the summer. CARES offers art, music, indoor, and outdoor activities for the children to participate in.

The program is led
by Community Development Specialist Monica Barber.