Photo by Alan Warren, Messenger-Inquirer | awarren@messenger-inquirer.com Parker Brown 8, makes a face as he looks at Landon Burcham, 8, left, after biting into a breakfast sandwich during a taste-test of new menu items for the Owensboro Softball Complex at Fisher Park concessions at the Owensboro Parks and Recreation Fall Break Camp. On right is camper Graham Davis, 8.

The Owensboro Parks and Recreation camps for children are beneficial, said Brittni Klotzback, because they not only give kids something to do when they are on break from school, but they also build self-confidence and help them interact with other children.

Klotzback, a recreation supervisor for the city, said this week's Fall Break Camp has 41 kids registered from age 5 to 13. Each day there are different activities and games planned in an effort to stimulate kids and keep them active.

"We are (American Camp Association) members so we follow their standards and stipulations," she said. "We always try to have a lot of fun events for the kids to do."

For example, on Wednesday, the gymnasium at the Parks and Rec building on McJohnson Avenue was filled with inflatables. Campers were also asked to taste-test new menu items for the Owensboro Softball Complex at Fisher Park concessions. They also have spent some time this week at the adjacent Chautauqua Park, which had new playground equipment put in last summer.

The camps also try to hit key content areas to stimulate kids, from reading to arts and crafts. They also allow them to bring electronics one day during the camp.

"We try to hit everything they are into so they can be themselves, but they are also trying new things at the same time," Klotzback said.

Riley Harville, 11, is a camp veteran as he has been coming since he was 5. What Riley likes so much about camp is the opportunity to play games, like dodgeball.

"I also like playing outside at the new playground," he said.

Emma Clancy, 8, has been coming to Owensboro Parks and Rec camps for two years. She also enjoys being active.

"But I like having out and playing with my friends best," she said. "I have made a lot of new friends."

The city offers camps whenever school is out. It even offers a Snow Day Camp for which parents can pre-register in the event of school closing due to inclement weather, unless a state of emergency is declared.

The Snow Day Camp is $80 to pre-register, and the deadline for that registration is Nov. 5. That covers five days in advance, and if a school is not closed for five days, the parent is refunded or their account credited $15 per day.

The Holiday Camp pre-registration deadline is Nov. 29, and it is $150 for Dec. 19-Jan. 4. The Parks and Rec office is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

In January they will be pre-registering campers for their spring break and summer break camps. All camps include breakfast and two snacks, and campers are asked to bring their lunch, except for the summer break camp, during which students are given free lunches as part of the summer feeding program.

For more information about the camps, or to register a child, visit owensboroparks.org or call 270-687-8700.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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