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It’s that time of year for families to begin thinking about how the weeks of summer will be used. Close to home are some enriching experiences for kids, from gaining sports skills to exploring unique aspects of nature. Summer can be a great time to for kids to try something new.

Whether you need full-day childcare or are seeking part-day activities, here are some of the options coordinated by the Black Mountain Recreation and Parks Department. Registration opens on Wednesday, March 9, and some camps fill quickly. These camps tend to draw kids primarily from the community, so kids will see their friends or make new ones.

Ten-year-old Melia Kinney was a day camper with Black Mountain Summer Adventures - BMSA as the campers call it - and loved the variety of activities. “I loved the field trips, the nice teachers working with us, hiking to waterfalls, searching for creek creatures and treasure hunts in the woods,” she said. In the process, she made new friends and learned much about the area in which she lives. “It was a great way to spend my summer days,” Melia said.

Parent Mary Hunnicutt thought the annual half-day tennis camp last year was great for daughter Elizabeth, 10, to have develop her tennis skills in a fun setting. Volunteer tennis players from the community helped the kids immeasurably, and the price was reasonable, she said.

This summer the popular Summer Adventures Camp, now in its sixth year, offers eight weeks of full-day camp. This is a co-ed day camp for rising first through sixth graders (or children 6 to 11 years old). Days are spent park hopping, hiking, creek walking, waterfall finding, swimming, journaling, playing games, doing art and crafts, going to museums, letterboxing and more. The camp uses vans owned by Recreation and Parks to travel around town and beyond to sites like the Black Mountain Pool, the library and Montreat park and trails, as well as to enjoy the beauty of Western North Carolina’s hiking and waterfalls.

Each week from June 13 to Aug. 5, 26 kids can enjoy this adventure experience. Two smaller groups of campers are divided by age. Cost is $170. The child-to-adult ratio is 13:2.

Certified teachers work with the camp each week. A deposit of $50 is needed to hold the space.

“Each day is a new adventure for our campers,” said Stephanie Sulzman, camp director. Each week has different activities and trips. In the past, the camp filled up in just a few days, “so sign up quickly if you want to take part all summer or for a specific week,” said Collin Bugniazet, Recreation and Parks program director.

Black Mountain sports camps provide full- and half-day camps during summer. Tennis camp runs July 25-29 with half-or full-day options available for children 6 to 11 years old (full-day only) or 8 to 14 years old (half-day only).

There are soccer and basketball camps for ages 6 to 11, with both full-day or half-day options (dates, yet to be determined, will be posted at bmrp.recdesk.com soon.

The sports camps use local facilities such as school gym, the Grey Eagle soccer arena and Owen High School’s tennis courts.

Register online at bmrp.recdesk.com. You can also view the Black Mountain Summer Adventures Facebook page. Or stop by the Carver Center offices at 101 Carver Ave., Black Mountain to complete the paperwork.

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