Children who are part of the 2012 Boys and Girls Club of Warwick summer camp say the best part of the experience is getting the opportunity to spend time together.
“I like seeing my friends every day,” said Claire Beauregard, 13, who will be starting eighth grade at Aldrich Junior High School in the fall.
In fact, this year marks the sixth she has signed up for camp.
“I started the summer before third grade,” Beauregard said.
Autumn Dillon, 12, who just graduated sixth grade from Robertson Elementary School, is experiencing her first year at camp. Nevertheless, she feels the same way as Beauregard.
“All my friends are here and I love it,” she said.
The other 94 campers, including Robert Nolette, 12, and Quincey Lawson, 12, who will both begin seventh grade at Winman Junior High in September, said their favorite thing about camp is not only spending time together, but also participating in sports and recreational activities.
For Lawson, soccer is the best sport, while Juliana Glick, 11, who will be a sixth grader at Scott Elementary, favors a similar sport in kick ball.
Angelica Wilson, 11, who will be a Wyman sixth grader come September, said she enjoys the great outdoors.
“Being inside and playing board games is boring,” she said. “Here, the councilors pick out fun stuff for us to do.”
Aside from sports like soccer and kick ball, the camp, which takes place at the Masonic Youth Center in Buttonwoods on Long Street, also offers physical activities for children of both genders between the ages of 5 and 13, such as swimming, volleyball and basketball, as well as crafts, fine arts and environmental/outdoor education. Children are grouped based on age.
The camp goal is to create an atmosphere that encourages kids to grow as individuals, respect one another, work together, make friends and, of course, have fun.
Camp councilors, who are made up of Boys and Girls staff members, are trained to serve as role models for campers and are CPR and First Aid certified. They are hired after they have undergone extensive employment and background screenings.
For Nicole Spirito and Monique Rossi, who are the open door directors for the Boys and Girls Club and also serve as camp counselors, they are thrilled the children are forming bonds and enjoying themselves.
“Half of these kids don’t see each other during the school year, so they look forward to coming to camp and seeing the friends they made last year,” Rossi said. “It makes me feel good because they are excited to be here.”
Camp councilor Paige Rossi agreed.
“Even during the school year, there are a lot of friendships made at the Boys and Girls Club,” she said. “It definitely helps them make new friends.”
Kayla Matarese, who, like a few of the children, experienced her first day at camp, said it pleases her to see the children having fun outdoors.
“It’s gorgeous out so they can kick a soccer ball around and play in the pool,” she said. “It’s not just sitting around at home in front of a computer or a TV. It’s important to put that back into the youth.”
Each camp session consists of one week and includes a $30 membership fee, which is good for one year, as well as $115 per week session. It is $105 for each additional sibling, plus a $5 grounds fee. Any field trips require additional fees. The camp runs Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To learn more about the camp or to apply, visit wbgclubs.org.