Twenty-four kids were enjoying their summer break recently at Camp Heights held at Skipcha Elementary School.
“I like staying busy,” said 11-year-old Bailey Doyle. “All the activities and games are really fun.”
Camp Heights is organized by the City of Harker Heights Park and Recreation Department and runs until Aug. 3.
“It’s from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the kids do a variety of activities,” said Nichole Broemer, Recreation and Event coordinator for the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department.
Nine-year-old Myron Noll has been visiting the camp each year since he was 5.
“I love it here,” he said. “There is so much happy energy, so many friends to play with, so many really cool games to play.”
Organizers put a lot of thought into different activities and field trips to keep the kids entertained throughout the day.
“The kids enjoy the field trips and the activities every day,” Broemer said. “They do active play, they do table play like board games and arts and crafts … they go outside to play kickball games or soccer games and use the playgrounds.”
Activities focus around changing weekly themes.
“This week’s theme was wild things … so it’s all animal related this week,” Broemer said during the June 25-29 camp week.
“They are going to the library and see … sounds of Africa and have … a field trip to the movies to watch the movie ‘Storks’.”
Eight-year-old Avigale Lackey especially liked the arts and craft projects.
“My favorite part was when I made a lion’s mask this week,” she said.
In the upcoming weeks, Camp Heights will concentrate on topics like freedom, heroes and prehistoric events.
“They are going to visit the fire department and see local heroes … and they are going to see the dinosaurs at the Mayborn Theater,” Broemer said.
But Camp Heights isn’t only about staying active and entertained during the summer.
“We want to provide a creative and fun environment, teach them good sportsmanship and create a community among the kids,” Broemer said.
Building friendships between the children is another goal of the summer camp at Skipcha Elementary.
“Some of the kids are from different schools, so they become friends here,” she said. “Some are returners so they haven’t seen each other since last summer. We also have new people this year so they get to meet new students that might be going to the same school (after summer break).”
All reason kids neither want to go home nor school to start.
“I don’t want the camp to stop because I don’t want to leave my friends,” Noll said. “I want to stay here all year long.”
While Camp Heights provided snacks, participating children brought their lunch from home.
“And they get pizza on Friday,” Broemer said.
Parents can register their children from age five to eleven online or at the Harker Heights Park and Recreation Department.
“We have two sessions that still have some spots open,” Broemer said. “If parents want to register for a week that is full, they can still call the Recreation Center and get put on the waiting list.”