Camp your heart out

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 30, 2015

 Campers attending a Safety Town Camp tour of the  West Bloomfield Fire Department learn about firefighters and paramedics.

Campers attending a Safety Town Camp tour of the West Bloomfield Fire Department learn about firefighters and paramedics.

Photo provided by the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Summer is right around the corner, which means the school year will soon be ending and kids will begin summer activities.


Registration for the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission’s summer day camps is now open, and those who register by May 29 will receive $10 off each week of camp.


Recreation Programmer Ashley Stokes said that this year, the commission is offering an assortment of camps for kids of all age groups.


“We were trying to … make sure we have a variety for all age groups and not (focus) on one age group,” Stokes said.


This year’s camp sessions feature the popular Camp WB and Safety Town, in addition to a slew of new camps, including the Adventure Park Mini-Camp, the Superheroes Quest Camp, the Stand Up Paddle Camp and the Nutty Science Camp.


“We’ve really expanded our offerings, with nine brand-new camps this year,” West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission Public Information Officer Meagan Kurnat said in an email. “There is something for every kid, whether it’s a general day camp, sports, science, technology or nature.” 


While at the Adventure Park Mini-Camp, participants are harnessed to climb through challenge courses. The Adventure Park at West Bloomfield is located on the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit campus. The camp includes two hours of climbing and zip lining, along with a one-hour nature program each day. The Adventure Park Mini-Camp runs from 6:30-9:30 p.m. the week of July 20 and from 9 a.m.-noon the week of Aug. 24. It is available for children ages 10-15.


At Superheroes Quest Camp, superhero campers test their superpowers against supervillains. Campers create a superhero suit and venture out on secret missions.


“It’s not even what you think as far as being a superhero. It’s more about getting to know yourself and your values. It’s more like confidence building more so than turning into Batman,” Stokes said.


Campers will create their own superheroes based on their personality and characteristics, Stokes added.


Superheroes Quest Camp is instructed by the Berkley-based Superhero Training Academy and is available for children ages 9-11. It runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. the week of July 13.


Three camps are offered through the Nutty Science program — the Fairytale STEM Camp, the Nutty Science STEM Camp and the Wow I’m Starting Kindergarten Science Camp. The Nutty Science camps are held at the Recreation Activities Center and are taught by Nutty Scientists of Southeast Michigan. From entering the pages of famous fairy tales to building rockets to learning about natural and physical sciences, campers of all ages will delve into science in preparation for the next school year during the month of August.


Camp WB, which was introduced last year, runs various weeks throughout the summer. Camp WB is the commission’s take on a traditional summer camp, with crafts, nature exploration, fishing, hiking, sports, games, scavenger hunts and more.


“This is our second year of running our 10-week day camp, Camp WB, and we have some really great field trips planned and exciting nature adventures at Marshbank Park,” Kurnat said in an email.


Field trips change each week and include visits to Paradise Park, Catalpa Oaks County Park and the Detroit Zoo. 


“It’s not a large camp, so you have more of a one-on-one experience as far as the kids getting to know each other … and the staff, as well,” Stokes said about Camp WB. “(Summer camp) makes a lasting impression as far as the type of person you grow up to be.”


Latchkey is available from June 15-Aug. 21 for approved camps. The cost is $25 per week for the 7:30-9 a.m. session. The 4-6 p.m. session costs $30 per week. Children must be pre-registered no later than a week before camp starts.


A financial aid program is available for families with financial need. Details on the program can be found at www.westbloomfield parks.org/youth-programs or by calling (248) 451-1900.


“One of the best things about our camps is the cost structure,” Kurnat said in an email. “They are very affordable, especially when compared to others in the area.”


For more information about the summer day camps, visit www.westbloomfieldparks.org or call (248) 451-1900.

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