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Forest Park sets summer camp standard of excellence
June 14, 2012 03:27 PM | 3794 views | 0 0 comments | 117 117 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Knowledge Hunt, son of Calie May, eases into the outdoor pool at Starr Park as swimming is one of the regular activities enjoyed by those taking part in the Forest Park Parks & Recreation Department summer camp.
The late comedian Ray Duncan had an unusual opinion of summer camp for children.

“A lot of parents pack up their summer troubles and send them away to summer camp,” he said.

However, from the comments Forest Park Parks & Recreation Department summer camp officials have heard from parents of those attending their summer camp, many of the youngsters are usually in the car and ready to go so early in the morning, they have to pull their parents out of their house to take them.

Portia Langley, a supervisor with the Forest Park Recreation Department, said in the three years she has helped conduct summer camp, many kids are already waiting at the door when summer camp opens daily during the week at 7:30 a.m.

However, there is a down side to popularity, she said.

“For me, I hate to see the number of youngsters we have to turn away because we fill up our 100-camp youngster capacity so fast,” she said.

Langley explained that camp officials have determined that 100 children each week is the limit the camp can take in order to maximize their enjoyment of the camp while maintaining a good ratio between the children, the adult counselors, the facilities and programs offered.

“Having operated a summer camp for more than 35 years, Forest Park’s program is not only one of the least expensive but has become one of the most sought after,” Langley said.

Scheduled weekly from May 29 through July 20, Forest Park is not only one of the least expensive, at $45 per child for Forest Park residents and $55 for non-residents, which includes breakfast and lunch and a camp t-shirt but, if registration is any type of indicator, it is one of Clayton County most popular.

Langley said the children are divided into age groups so as to take full advantage of summer camp activities. In addition to daily swimming at the Forest Park outdoor pool, weather permitting, the kids are involved in one age-appropriate field trip, to such destinations as the Atlanta Zoo, Noah’s Arc and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. A new destination has been added this year for the older age group, a trip to the Sports Hall of Fame in Macon.

Although their summer camp program remains popular, those involved in the camp meet immediately after it closes in July to evaluate and make changes if needed.

“Although summer camp has lasted for more than 35 years, we are always open to new ideas from parents and others as we strive to make our program even better,” Langley said.

For more information on the Forest Park Summer Camp Program, call (404) 363-2908.

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