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Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Jeff Asencio, left, participates in the obstacle course Tuesday as part of the city of Amsterdam's all-day summer camp at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School. At right is camp coordinator Tim Jones.

Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Counselor Mandy Davey participates in the obstacle course Tuesday as part of the city of Amsterdam's all-day summer camp at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School.

Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Sebastian Cintron participates in the obstacle course Tuesday as part of the city of Amsterdam's all-day summer camp at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School.

Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Giordan Bonanno participates in the obstacle course Tuesday as part of the city of Amsterdam's all-day summer camp at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School.

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Popular sports-themed camp takes over Bacon

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Updated: 10:18 AM

By MICHAEL KELLY

michael.kelly@recordernews.com

For parents interested in finding a way to calm hyper-active children, the city of Amsterdam recreation department's all-day summer camp may be the solution.

"From what I've heard from parents," said camp director Tim Jones, "bedtime is pretty early after camp days."

That's because the days at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School are frenetic and action-packed. Now in its third week, the sports-themed camp regularly has more than 50 campers and seemingly as many activities. Kids at the camp take advantage of the playground, baseball diamond, basketball court and ample room to run through obstacle courses and games of capture the flag.

"Our big thing is promoting wellness and lifetime physical activity," said Jones. "So, we try to challenge them in different ways."

Jones, who coaches basketball and golf at Amsterdam High School, is the camp's director, but there's a host of athletic-minded counselors working at the program. Former AHS athletes T.J. Czeski, Mandy Davey, John Paris and John Sumpter are some of the head counselors, while a variety of current AHS athletes work at the camp, too.

"We have a pretty active staff," Jones said.

That was evident Tuesday, as Davey, Jones and Paris were some of the counselors participating alongside the day's campers in the camp's obstacle course. The maze of things to jump around and over is the highlight of the camp, and is where the campers show the improvement in their physical fitness; the kids are timed at the beginning of the year, Jones said, and the course gains more obstacles as the kids get better.

"So, that's been built up over the year," Jones said.

The camp's early part consists of shuttling through various stations of activity. Then, for the later stages of the day, the younger kids head off to watch a movie while older campers take part in more traditional sports, such as basketball in the form of 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 tournaments.

"The older kids ... don't care too much for down time," Jones said.

But the camp offers more than just a chance to run several dozen kids ragged. The camp is working to put together a weekly trip to the city pool, and each Monday sees a group come to the camp to discuss proper nutrition with the campers.

That goes along with a unique facet of the camp, which is that breakfast and lunch are included for the campers. The camp -- which runs through Aug. 15, and has campers from ages 4 to 14 years old divided into age-based groups -- costs $60 for a week's worth of sessions for an individual, while a family's-worth of kids can participate for $90. Day sessions may be purchased, too, for $15; all sign-ups take place at the camp, which runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In its second year of operation, the program also accepts interested youths from outside the city limits.

"Anyone is eligible to come," said Jones. "It's a program ready to run. We're excited."

Follow MICHAEL KELLY on Twitter at twitter.com/RecorderMK

Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Isabella Agresta participates in the obstacle course Tuesday as part of the city of Amsterdam's all-day summer camp at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School.

Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Brodie MacNeal participates in the obstacle course Tuesday as part of the city of Amsterdam's all-day summer camp at the former Clara S. Bacon Elementary School.

     

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