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Summer activities abound

Suffolk Parks & Recreation Director Mark Furlo highlighted a bevy of summer opportunities available to city youths during a recent City Council work session.

Furlo, at last Wednesday’s work session, noted that the eight-week Planet Recreation program for Pre-K through rising sixth graders is, by far, its most popular summer program, with about 430 participants.

Planet Recreation takes place at five elementary schools — Booker T. Washington, Creekside, Mack Benn Jr., Northern Shores and Oakland — as well as the Whaleyville Recreation Center from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Activities include arts and crafts, games, clubs, fun activities and field trips.

Planet Fun, a program offered in partnership with the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, is held at the city’s public housing locations at Colander Bishop, Cypress Manor/Parker Riddick and Hoffler. This program runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with activities similar to Planet Recreation.

Teens also have a camp option with Discover Your Future, an eight-week camp geared for seventh- to 10th-graders at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, with bus transportation available from Northern Shores Elementary School and Creekside Elementary School to the recreation center.

Parks and Recreation also offers several specialty camps throughout the summer. The Outdoor Adventure Camp at Sleepy Hole Park and Art Camp at the Suffolk Art Gallery will be offered in two sessions each, from Aug. 19-23 and from Aug. 26-30. The Hooked on Golf program will take place at Sleepy Hole Golf Course from July 22-26 for ages 7 to 15.

The Hoops 4 Life basketball camp at King’s Fork Recreation Center will have four sessions from June 24 to July 19 for ages 12 to 15, and four sessions from July 22 to Aug. 16 for ages 8 to 11.  There is transportation available to the Hoops 4 Life camp from Northern Shores and Creekside elementary schools.

There will also be a volunteer, counselor-in-training program for teens ages 14 to 17, and a summer works program for ages 16 to 21, with participants earing a small stipend by working with various city departments, including the animal shelter, Capital Programs, Libraries, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Public Utilities, Public Works and Social Services.

For those with special needs, the city has Camp Limitless, a therapeutic camp for ages 5 to 17 at the Planters Club, with five sessions running from June 24 to July 26. Each day’s programs run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A Teen Summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront for ages 11 to 17, and adults interested in empowering youth. This year’s theme is
“Empower to Overcome.”

The department also offers open recreation at designated times at East Suffolk and Whaleyville recreation centers. Times will be posted at those locations when they are available.

At Cypress Park Pool, Furlo said there will be open swim Tuesdays through Sundays from June 18 through Sept. 1. Students can ride Suffolk Transit to East Suffolk and Cypress Park for $1 one-way or $2 all day. Those using the pool must obtain a free pool pass at any of the city’s recreations centers.

Special events also highlight the summer parks and recreation calendar, including the TGIF Summer Concert Series, with performances Thursday, June 21 and 28 and July 12 at Constants Wharf Park, and July 26, Aug. 2, 9 and 16 at Bennett’s Creek Park. This Saturday, there will be a drive-in movie at Bennett’s Creek, and Movies in the Park will happen Aug. 23 at the Whaleyville Recreation Center side field and Aug. 24 at the Holland Ball Field. The Stars and Stripes Spectacular at Constants Wharf Park takes place July 4. Family Bingo takes place Aug. 23 at Whaleyville Recreation Center.

For more information on the city’s Parks and Recreation activities and any costs, a program guide is available at any of the libraries or recreation centers, and are also available online on the department’s website at http://www.suffolkva.us/266/Parks-Recreation.