EARLY YEARS: March means registration time for spring and summer camps
March means registration is now open for the literally hundreds of camps available in the Roanoke Valley for kids during spring and summer breaks.
Stephanie Long with Roanoke City Parks and Recreation says, "Kids can come to one of our recreation centers. They can do field trips, play video games, we do movies, we have full sized gyms in these centers as well, so we have games, sports, things like that."
Long says Roanoke City Parks and Rec has parents covered for spring break. She says their program has grown a lot, and is offering more variety when it comes to spring and summer breaks.
"We have outdoor adventure camp where kids can try stand-up paddle boarding, hiking. We've got caving," says Long.
Roanoke County Parks and Rec is also working to keep kids busy during their time off, with over 200 weeks of programs.
At Explore Park, TreeTop Quest is one field trip option for campers.
"It's an aerial adventure course with zip lines and a whole lot of fun. There's a net trampoline, where kids can bounce around. There are tree to tree obstacles that will challenge them," says Scott Ramsburg with Roanoke County Parks and Recreation.
Ramsburg says along with giving campers opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, they offer camps to spark interests like cooking, art and more. They've also extended the ages for day camps to include the middle school crowd.
"And even if they are mature enough to stay home by themselves, parents, I have an 11-year-old myself and he's going into middle school. I want him to be active and engaged with friends during the day, not sitting around playing video games," he says.
As a rule, busier kids are happier kids.
"Kids need to stay engaged and stay active, and have an opportunity to play," says Long.