By Celeste Torres
Time to enjoy Popsicles, sunny days, picnics, pool time and summer camp, of course. Every year around this time I think about my summer memories and how thankful I am to my parents for signing me up. Summer camp led me to my career today in recreation and program coordinating.
I still love to reminiscence about it: the laughing, playing, singing and sharing camp stories. Each year we create new memories that motivate us to make each summer even more special than the previous.
My summer camp stomping grounds were in the beautiful city of Sanger. I went to a day camp called “Summer Fun” from 1987 to 1993. One of my fondest camp memories was the Mock Rock. I had this totally rad checkered blouse with huge shoulder pads and gold buttons down the front. My two best friends were my back-up dancers. Fake microphone in hand, back-up dancers doing cartwheels and handstands around me, I belted out what I thought was a beautiful rendition of “Where’s The Party” by Madonna.
I got the most high-fives that day, so many compliments on my blouse and a new friend who also loved Madonna.
Whether it’s a week long or a month long, summer camp helps young people grow in many ways. It exposes them to a variety of new experiences, people and opportunities.
I remember a little boy named Liam who came in to the city of Davis Community Services Office to register for Rainbow Summer camp in July 2011. Liam counted out $72 in bills and change to pay for it; he sold lemonade and cookies to earn the money all on his own. His mom says he loved camp and wanted to do his part to attend.
I also remember a camp volunteer who donated his bike to another camper after his had been stolen. These are the good people of our community, making their impact known, and it started with a summer camp.
Maybe for you, it was 4-H camp or a YMCA program. Either way, we could bet a Yoo-Hoo that you can recall specific details of those experiences and the lasting impact it made in your life.
Summer and its extra hours of sunlight are the hallmarks of childhood — a time for growth and establishing independence, stepping out of the comfort zone of home and making new friends.
The city of Davis offers a wide selection of experiences to achieve these important milestones, from Rainbow Summer with its classic day camp combination of activities to Camp Putah with its overnighter to Voyagers, which offers the exploration of Davis via a bike.
Or how about a new theater camp, with the opportunity to be in the spotlight, literally, in a way that is different from the family room productions?
The Community Services Summer Recreation Schedule has more than 70 pages of ways to make a memory, learn a skill or have a laugh for little tots all the way up to the young at heart. To learn more about what lies ahead this summer, visit us at http://www.cityofdavis.org.
— Celeste Torres is a community services coordinator with the city of Davis.