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Virt. Vineyard

Camp giving children lots to do

By Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / July 1, 1998

LAPLACE – For a mere $80 a week, parents can send their children to a day camp in LaPlace that gives kids tons of opportunities for fun.

Ascension of Our Lord is in its fifth week of its seventh annual summer KidCam, and camp director Karen Verbeek said most of the children who attend aren’t even students at Ascension of Our Lord. “They come from allover,” she said. “Less than half go to school at Ascension.”Verbeek said on average 200 children are enrolled in the camp, but every week new campers enroll. “We picked up 15 new campers last week,” shesaid.

And Verbeek said incidents of homesickness and crying are few and far between, probably because their schedule is so jam-packed. “One littlecamper cried last week,” she admitted.

Included in the cost of enrollment are activities for campers such as arts and crafts, bowling, skating, putt-putt and bumper boats at Celebration Station, laser tag, arcades, swimming at Shannon’s every day, Jazzercise, karate, horseback riding, pony rides and magic shows and other demonstrations.

There is also recreation, including a boys against girls relay race, and awards at the end of each week.

“We try to do new things every year,” Verbeek said.

As an addition this year, campers enjoyed a formal tea party, in which they dressed up for the occasion, and a fashion show followed. Of course,that activity was for little girls, but some male campers proudly escorted them across the stage for the fashion show.

Verbeek said there is an unusually large group of boys in the 11 to 13 age group. “That’s kind of unusual because they are the ones that usually thinkthey’re too cool for camp and don’t want to go,” she said. “But I think thehigh number is because of the counselors. We have some great ones thatare always playing with them.”Verbeek said there are 24 counselors – about 10 kids to each one – and 11 CITs, or counselors in training. The CITs work for volunteer hours.”I have a very long waiting list to be counselors,” Verbeek said.

Although the hours of the camp are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., before and after careboth are provided. Before care begins at 7 a.m. and is free. After care isfrom 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and costs $2 an hour.In Verbeek’s second year as director of the camp, she feels it’s a success and the children are really enjoying themselves. “We’re having a lot offun,” she exclaimed.

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