Rec District gears up for summer


More than 1,500 youth expected to participate in summer programs

School is almost out. The summer months approach. And for parents looking to keep their youngsters active and out of the house, the Powell Recreation District is waiting with an array of summer programming assured to offer something for just about everybody.

“In the summer of 2012, we had 1,501 youth participate in our summer programs,” said Powell Recreation District director Colby Stenerson.

That number will likely climb this summer as the Recreation District expands its offerings. One program making its debut this summer will be the Toddler Zone, which will be run in partnership with the Children’s Resource Center.

“We had a request for more toddler-age activities and we are very happy to be running this in partnership with the CRC,” said Stenerson.

The Toddler Zone is geared toward children ages 3-4 and a parent or guardian must be present to participate with the child. Held in two sessions covering June 2-13 and June 17-26, the 45-minute program will be held Mondays and Wednesdays at The Cottage on Clark and Third streets.

Participants will create, make and take projects, sing songs and make healthy snacks while combining pretend play, creative movement, science, fine and gross motor and sensory methods.

The cost is $15 per session.

For the teens and tweens, the recreation district and Northwest College DELTA have teamed up to offer three new Outdoor Adventure Camps for the summer. A day camp from July 15-19 will offer those ages 11-16 with a chance to experience rock climbing, a ropes challenge course, white water rafting, hiking and caving.

A separate rock climbing camp will run for ages 12-16 and, as the name suggests, will focus solely on climbing. Participants will begin by learning techniques on Northwest College’s climbing wall before heading outdoors to hone their skills on real rock. Equipment is provided.

The cost for both camps will be $165. Participants will have to furnish their own lunches.

In mid-August, an overnight Wilderness Adventure Camp will run based out of the NWC Field Station. Participants will learn wilderness survival, go hiking, participate in the ropes course and learn leadership skills through living and traveling in the wilderness. Equipment and meals are all provided. The camp runs Aug. 12-16, is geared toward ages 12-16 and has a $250 registration cost.

“The college brought up the idea of the outdoor camps, and it was something we could partner together on,” Stenerson said of the new offerings.

Partnership also led to the creation of Junior Golf Days during the summer. In conjunction with the Powell Golf Club, Powell Recreation District will provide an opportunity for free golf for those ages 10 and up on June 20, June 27, July 11 and July 18. Supervision and guidance will be provided, but participants will need to furnish their own clubs. Transportation to the course will be available on the Rec Bus. A drink and a snack will be provided.

“We started those last year and they were a big hit,” said Stenerson. “We can fit quite a few kids on the Rec Bus when we go on those things.”

Trips depart from Powell and include a trip to Rumble Park and the miniature golf course in Cody on May 30, a new trip to The Reef indoor water park in Billings on July 2, a trip to Zoo Montana and Chuck E. Cheese in Billings on July 31 and a trip to the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary and Candy Store in Red Lodge on Aug. 7. The cost ranges from $10 to $20 depending on the trip.

Eight sessions of the popular Kids’ Camp will be offered, beginning June 3-6 and running weekly through July 22-25. Each of the eight sessions features a different theme with an array of exciting, healthy and educational activities planned around each. Arts and crafts, time at the wading pool, movies, snacks, lots of games and the return of the Homesteader Hill water slide all make these camps a summertime hit with those ages 5-9.

Parents should be aware that some of the more popular programs fill up quickly. Gymnastics, which runs June 4-27, is one such program where those interested should contact the district office immediately. The early morning hours for Kids’ Fishing Day on June 1 are also expected to fill quickly when registration opens on May 28.

Finally, for the older crowd that also needs help staying active in the sumer months, there’s the offer of an open gym and weight room at Powell High School from June 3-July 18. For those age 15 and older, the facilities will be opened, free of charge, to members of the community.

“We offer 275 days of programs per calendar year,” Stenerson said. “On any given day, we average about 135 people participating in an activity. It’s quite a lot.”

To learn about all the summer offerings of the Powell Recreation District, to learn more about a specific program or to register, go online to or call the recreation district office at 754-5711.