Friday, December 26, 2014

Rec Report: City programs for kids, teens change with the times

By Christine Foster

One of my favorite things about Davis is its long-lived traditions. Did you know that the Davis Farmers Market has been going on for 37 years and Camp Putah has been in existence since 1970? You probably did know, because Davis residents love their traditions and take pride in their community.

Recently, I came across the city of Davis recreation brochure from the summer of 1978. I was surprised at how many programs we still offer and I was even more surprised by the unique programs that have gone by the wayside. Disco Dance, anyone? The description explains that “disco fever is here and this is your chance to learn the new dances.” I’m sad to report that we discontinued Disco Dance in the summer of 1980 but I love that the recreation division is not afraid to try something new.

Speaking of new, this summer we have teamed up with Camp Jack Hazard to offer the first city of Davis Family Camp.

The camp, located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, offers an opportunity to get out of the heat and experience the great outdoors with activities like swimming, hiking, yoga in the meadow, arts and crafts, and campfire skits and songs. Reserve a cabin and let the staff at Camp Jack Hazard do the rest of the work.

OK, so spending a weekend with the whole family doesn’t exactly sound like a vacation? Perhaps it is because you have teenager. The city of Davis has a great way to keep your teen occupied this summer.

Teen Camp is geared specifically toward junior high-age youths. The amazing staff is composed of younger-than-you adults who actually enjoy working with teens and sympathize with the plight of adolescence. After last summer’s huge success, Teen Camp is better than ever.

Participants will bike around Davis and explore what the city has to offer. We are determined to disprove the rumors that “Davis is boring” and “there’s nothing to do.”

With a field trip offered every week to places like John’s Incredible Pizza, SunSplash and floating down the American River, your teen is sure to stay busy and you won’t have to worry about the house burning down.

I have one more exciting addition to the city of Davis repertoire. It’s something parents have been asking about for some time. No, we aren’t reopening the teen center, but we are teaming up with Davis High School to offer a 10th-grade orientation. Look for more details to come, but I promise this event will include all things awesome about high school, including club demonstrations, free food, campus tours and the pep band playing all your football favorites. Tenth-grade orientation will take place Aug. 15 at Davis High.

In all my research of the city’s recreation programs, what I have noticed most is how we have adapted to the times. We have expanded and contracted over the years to reflect what is popular, the economic climate and demographics of the community. We have held on to some of our timeless programs and let others fade with the trends.

I’m not going to lie: I wish I was around to see those Disco Dance classes, but regardless of what comes and goes I have a feeling that Davis recreation programs are stayin’ alive.

— Christine Foster is a community services coordinator for the city of Davis.



Special to The Enterprise

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