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Plan now for summer camps

Now that the weather outside is no longer frightful (or at least cold), parents can see summertime on the horizon.

What to do with the kids while you’re at work?

A number of local organizations — including the city, public and private schools, and recreational facilities in the area — are offering options. Organizers say children benefit from being in a structured environment with other children, while learning about new subjects and getting more physical activity, than just watching themselves or sitting with a babysitter.

“Their activity level is much higher,” said Cheryl Burks, of Triple T Sports Center. “They get a chance to learn basics in a lot of the different types of sports we do.”

Children at Triple T camps get the chance to explore basic gymnastics, cheerleading, karate and other sports regularly offered at the gym. They also learn social skills, Burks said.

“They’re playing and they’re having fun, but they also learn how to interact and handle situations that come up with other kids,” Burks said. Children will get to take advantage of the large indoor playground and the in-ground pit, where they can jump or flip into a pit filled with foam blocks.

Tameka Dillard, who works in the city Parks and Recreation Department, agreed. She is in charge of the Planet Recreation “Rocking the Planet” summer program. Sign-ups for Planet Recreation are currently going on. Dillard said the programs will provide interaction and a structured environment while parents are working or enjoying the good weather.

A listing of summer camps follows.

2010 Planet Recreation Summer Camp

Dates: June 28 to Aug. 20

Times: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ages: 5 to 12

Cost: one-time $35 registration fee; $60 for sessions; field trips require separate fee

Locations: Mack Benn Jr. Recreation Center, Northern Shores Recreation Center, Creekside Recreation Center, Oakland Recreation Center, Booker T. Washington Recreation Center

Required for registration: Proof of age (5-year-olds must have proof of attending kindergarten during the 2009-2010 school year), two emergency contacts and proof of residency. City employees who are non-residents may register their children with city identification.

For more information: Call 514-7248 for Mack Benn, 514-7249 for Northern Shores, 514-7245 for Creekside, 514-7246 for Oakland, or 514-7247 for Booker T. Washington

Triple T summer camp

Dates: June 21 to Sept. 3

Times: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ages: 5 to 13

Cost: $105/week for members, $135/week for non-members; 10 percent sibling discount; 5 percent consecutive week discount

Location: 619 E. Constance Road

For more information: Call 923-5150

YMCA summer camps

Dates: June 1 to Sept. 3

For more information: www.ymcashr.org.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy summer camps

Dates: June 14 to Aug. 6

Times: Varies

Ages: Grades pre-K through 12

Cost: Varies

Location: 3373 Pruden Blvd.

Themes: Everything from astronomy and archeology to math and SAT preparation.

For more information: Call 539-6073

Isle of Wight County “Ham and History” summer camps

Dates: July 19-22 or Aug. 2-5

Times: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $100 per child includes supplies; pre-payment required

Ages: Rising fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders

Themes: July 19-22. Porkaliscious: The History of Ham in Isle of Wight County. Learn the fascinating history of ham and understand how it put Smithfield on the world map. Students will enhance their writing skills and map skills and create their own marketing “porkfolio.” A field trip to a smokehouse is included. Camp is held at the Isle of Wight County Museum, 103 Main Street, Smithfield.

Aug. 2-5. A Day in the Life of Boykin’s Tavern. If buildings could talk, what would this one say? With crafts, games and hands-on activities, this week-long adventure is a journey through time with Boykin’s Tavern and its role in the Revolutionary War, Civil War and War of 1812. Camp is held at Boykin’s Tavern Museum, 17130 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight.