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Summer programs: Vacation time is coming

   FINGER LAKES, May 25—This is a great area to be a kid in the summer – because in addition to sunshine and warm weather, there’s a huge variety of things to do – many of them free, and all of them offering opportunities not available during the rest of the year.
   The lucky kids who live in the Yates County townships or villages of Dundee, Penn Yan, Jerusalem, Torrey and Middlesex, as well as kids in Hammondsport and Bath in Steuben County, can enjoy summer recreation programs offering a variety of outdoor activities.
   Christine Yonge, director of the Yates County Youth Bureau, says these summer sessions typically begin after July 4 and run four to six weeks.  Parents may call the village office in the town where they live for more information.
   Students who need remediation will find various scholastic areas for summer school.  Many districts are centralizing summer school programs, which means in some areas, children who attend summer school will go to a different school from the one attended in the school year.
   The Steuben County Department of Social Services also sponsors a “Summer Learning Experience” for kids who are struggling with subject – but still managing to pass their coursework.  This experiential learning program includes kayaking, horseback riding, and other activities while teaching the New York State curriculum in a different way.  It’s open to all Steuben County residents – but only by referral.
   Swimming and other summer recreation programs (although unconfirmed for this year at this time) are usually offered  in Hammondsport and Bath.  School officials expect to have information on these programs –soon.
   The Penn Yan Youth Lacrosse Club, under the leadership of Harry and Patty Queener, is offering a three week Box Lacrosse program for kids from kindergarten age through high school.  Registration information is available through the schools.
Scouting programs offer residential camp experiences for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; several churches also offer residential camps as well as Vacation Bible School.  Members of 4-H and other children who are not members may attend one of New York’s 4-H camps.  Find more information at
   Other residential camp experiences are open to kids of specific ages, needs and interests.  Camp Cory, a YMCA camp based in Penn Yan, offers residential and day camp programs.  Find them on-line at  Thinking about it?  A free camp open house Sunday, June 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. offers prospective campers a chance to tour the camp, meet staff a sample camp activities.
   The Department of Environmental Conservation also offers residential educational camps, for 12 to 17 year olds.  These camps are in Franklin, Sullivan and Allegany Counties and open to all New York state children. For more, visit  Some spaces are available but are going quickly.  The cost is $350 per child per week.
Parents of children aged 9 to 12 who really want to go to camp but can’t afford other camping opportunities might want to call their county Sheriff’s Office.  Because summer camp should be a fun experience for all, the New York State Sheriff’s Association runs a camp in Penn Yan called Camp Iroquois, which may be attended by needy children at no charge.  There are still a few openings yet for children residing  in Yates and Steuben counties.  For more information visit
   There are also camps for kids with special needs.  “Kids Adventure Time” offers a therapeutic environment for at-risk children aged 5 to 14 and their siblings while exploring sports, arts and sciences.  Admission to this program it is by referral only for Yates County residents.  More information is at
And Camp Good Days and Special Times,, offers good days and special times to children and families challenged by cancer.
   Wellness G.I.F.T.S. in Bath offers camping retreats for families with members who have developmental disabilities. The camp offers educational programs for parents, recreational activities, and therapeutic services for family members.  Three retreats are scheduled for this summer.  For more, visit
   Summer reading programs sponsored by area libraries offer entertainment and prizes for children who keep reading over the summer – and those who have books read to them.  Contact your neighborhood library for free enrollment in the reading program.  Several libraries also offer these for teens and adults.
   Time for thought, time to learn grow and enjoy warm weather after a cold winter and rainy spring – there’s enough to do to make summer seem, as always, much too short.




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