Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

June 3, 2013

Summer Fun: From sports camps to reading challenges, you won’t hear ‘I’m bored’ this summer break

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Summer has just gotten a whole lot more fun, thanks to various entities offering camps and courses to liven up the lives of youths on school break.

The Cherokee County Extension Office in Rusk is planning a summer youth camp for kids ages 9-12, said extension agent Willy Arnwine, with content based on agriculture and family consumer science.

“It's a camp that highlights what projects and programs that are offered by the 4-H, for kids who aren't part of 4-H,” Arnwine said, adding that information will be available soon.

Budding young artists are invited to participate in fine arts classes scheduled June 5 through Aug. 29 at the Chero-kee County Christian School, 206 E 3rd St in Rusk.

Local artist Lurlene Bowden will teach two-hour classes on Wednesdays that will include pottery, wood burning, jewelry-making, modeling clay, fabric painting and crafts, while Thursday classes focus on drawing/painting – using watercolor & acrylic – pastels, oil pastels and calligraphy.

Both classes are scheduled for outdoor sketching, painting and field trips, and basic supplies are furnished. An art supply list will be needed for class. Application forms may be picked up in the front office of the school.

Classes begin at 3:30 p.m. each day, and a break is planned July 1-5 in observance of Independence Day week.

For cost per student, a family discount, or discount for attendance for both classes, contact Lurlene Bowden BFA at easttexasfine-arts@gmail.com or 903-312-9863.

Sports camps are a popular offering this summer, with programs held in Troup, Rusk and Tyler.

The Troup school district will host a variety of summer sports camps varying in length during the period from June 10 to July 25.

A summer weights program will be held 9-11 a.m. Monday-Thursday, June 10-July 25; the field house will be closed the week of July 4. An elem-entary/middle school volley ball camp is planned June 17-19 – contact Arden Johnson for more details.

A June 24-26 basketball camp for girls in grades 1-5 is scheduled from 1-3 p.m., followed by a 3:30-5:30 p.m. camp for youths in grades 6-8. Cost is $30 per person; contact Janna Ross for more information.  

A no-cost boys' basketball camp, held July 8-10, is open to incoming 8th and 9th grade students, and will be held from 9-11 a.m. Coach Sory for more information.

Coach Eastman will direct a July 23-25 golf camp, which will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. daily.

For the second year in Rusk, Beyond Fitness Gym will hold youth fitness camps at their 189 Henderson facility.

A three-day-a-week program for boys and girls ages 7-12 is scheduled 9-11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, June 10-July 5. Cost is $65 per participant, with family discounts offered.

For youths ages 13-18, a July 8-Aug. 2 conditioning camp will be held from 9-11 a.m. Monday through Friday to help prepare students for fall sports programs at their schools. Cost is $90 per participant, with family discounts offered.

Each student is asked to contribute a case of water for the program.

To learn more call Jenny Pratz at 903-393-3623, or Sterling Pratz, 903-393-2984. Information also may be found on their Facebook page, Beyond Fitness – Rusk, TX.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will host a June 15 football camp at Lindsey Park, located at 12557 Spur 364 off southwest Loop 323 in Tyler.

The camps, which begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., are for youths ages 9-17, and will focus on the fundamentals of basic football skills.

Staff from USA Football will conduct the camps; youths 14 and older will go through an MVP type workout with Peterson, who also will address the group.

Cost is $10 per camper, which includes a T-shirt. Register online at MVPFootballcamp.com or visit the Facebook page, Peterson MVP Football Camp. To learn more, text Steve Eudey at 903-922-0313.

Youth swim lessons also are being offered this summer in Jacksonville at both local hospitals, as well at the Summers Norman Pool at Buckner Park.

ETMC Aqua Kids 2013 helps youths ages six months and older learn to swim, as well as improve their skills and water safety knowledge.

Five different levels of lessons are offered; this summer, two sessions are scheduled on Saturdays, one offered June 1-July 6, the other, July 20-Aug. 4. Class times varies.

Four sessions will be offered for Tuesday-Thursday evening classes: June 11-27, July 9-25, July 30-Aug. 15 and Aug 20-Sept 5.

Cost for the Splash Babies classes are $50 for Olympic Center members/hospital employees and $55 for non-members, while other classes are $65 for members and employees, and $75 for non-members.

Downloadable forms are available at www.etmc.org/aquakids/, or call 903-596-3150 for more information.

Mother Frances Hospital offers a similar program, with six different levels ranging from “Mommy and Me (6-12 months) up to those for children ages 7-8 at its Jacksonville location health and fitness center.

Half-hour classes are offered Monday and Saturday, at a rate of $35 per child per month (member rate) and $40 for non-members.

Private lessons – also a half-hour segment – are $45 member fee and $55 non-member fee per class, with one-on-one attention from the instructor. Discounted fees – offered in lesson packets of five or 10 lessons – also are offered.

For more information, contact the center at 903-589-1540, or visit in person, 2010 S. Jackson.

Historically, summer swim lessons are offered at the Jacksonville public pool through the city's recreation department, but this year, the YMCA out of Tyler will take over the program.

Libraries in Rusk and Jacksonville also have fun plans this summer for their young patrons.

Beginning June 11, Rusk's Singletary Memorial Library will offer “Dig into Reading,” their 2013 summer reading program.

Every Tuesday through July 23, the library will host activities from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Rusk Civic Center. In addition, day camps will be presented.

Program themes include: June 11 –  Alabama-Coushatta Indians; June 18 – Moon Rover & outer space; July 2 – Kids in the Kitchen; July 9 – Texas Rangers/ Waco's Rangers Museum; July 16 – Discovery Science Center; July 23 –  Kids Game Show.

The June 25 event, NASA Space Camp, is a day camp held from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Youths are asked to pack a sack lunch (snacks will be provided). Because of limited space, please call the library, 903-683-5916, to reserve a spot.

The Jacksonville Public Library's reading club, also called “Dig into Reading,” will be held June 11- to July 17 at the 502 S. Jackson location.

The program offers a variety of events, from stories to crafts and games, said children's librarian Peggy Jo Jones.

On Tuesdays, the program focus on students in grades K-2, from 10:30-11 a.m., followed by a program for 3rd to 5th grade students beginning at 11 a.m.

A 10:30 a.m. program on Wednesdays focuses on younger children, ages 18 months to prechool age; on Wednesday afternoon, special events for all ages begin at 1:30 p.m., featuring movies, games and surprises.

Youths can register online at the library's website, www.jacksonvillelibrary.com; Jones said they're also seeking volunteers ages 15 and older to help with the program.

Not all the fun is limited to youngsters this summer: The Palestine Public Library is launching an Adult Summer Reading Club June 1-July 26, themed “Discover Your Library.”

Card-holders can sign up at the library, located at 2000 South Loop 256, Suite 42, with the first 100 participants eligible for a free tote bag.

Feedback and participation is expected from participants with every book read, said Ana Sanchez, Adult Services Librarian. Prize entry forms will be accepted for giftcard giveaways, as well as two Kindle e-readers.

The program also features presentations on various topics, Sanchez said.

To learn more, contact her at the Palestine Public Library at 903-729-4121, or visit www.pales-tine.lib.tx.us.