EARLY YEARS: Roanoke County Parks and Rec expanding its summer camp offerings

Published: Apr. 30, 2019 at 10:21 AM EDT
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Summer vacation is coming very soon for at least a couple of school systems in our hometowns.

The last day of class is May 21st for Botetourt County, and May 22nd in Roanoke County.

"I think for parents, really the window is closing quickly, and it's really jumped up and surprised people that schools are ending earlier and 'Oh my gosh, what am I going to do with my kids?'" says Scott Ramsburg, with Roanoke County Parks and Recreation.

Roanoke County Parks and Rec has some ideas.

It's offering camps for kids ages three to 17, with expanded programs, including those at Green Ridge Rec Center and Explore park.

"We've expanded our lineup at Explore Park. We're offering more full day programs for middle school aged children. We have mountain bike camps, paddling camps, and nature programs for all ages out there with transportation from Tanglewood Mall," says Ramsburg.

One thing that's new, more camp options for older kids, especially those in middle school, who aren't quite ready to be left home alone.

"That's one of our biggest requests over the past few years. We've never offered a full day, daycare style program for that middle school age group. There didn't used to be a demand for it, but now we're seeing folks wanting that care for the middle school aged children," says Ramsburg.

Whether it's camps that focus on specific interests, or traditional outdoor adventures, what seems to matter most to kids is the socialization.

"I asked my 10 year old son this morning, 'What makes you want to come to camp,' and he says 'just being with my friends.' That's one of the most important parts, just making sure they get daily care and enrichment and social interaction that could be missing during the summer," says Ramsburg.

We've posted a couple of helpful links to help you find the perfect camp for your kids to the right of this story.

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