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Massapequa Students Make Memories in Summer Rec

The school year ended, and a week and a half later, Massapequa’s elementary buildings were filled again with hundreds of children enjoying the annual Summer Recreation Program. The five-week camp, which runs from July 5 to Aug. 5, is open to children entering kindergarten through fifth grade and held at the six elementary schools.

On a typical day, each group rotates through different stations. There are indoor and outdoor sports, a game room, a movie room, playground time, arts and crafts, along with snack and lunch. Each camp also has theme days, special in-house activities and field trips. Students can sign up for all five weeks or come for select weeks if they want to mix and match with Massapequa’s other summer programs including the sports skills camps and fine arts classes.

Christopher Kiernan, director of the camp at Fairfield Elementary School, said a favorite this year was Hawaiian Day, where students came outside to a Tiki Bar for fruit smoothies and made paper leis in art. Popular field trips included the Massapequa bowling alley and the arcade at Dave & Busters. 

“I like the camp because it’s always fun and there’s always many activities that we’re able to do,” said Johanna F., who is entering fifth grade at Fairfield. “There’s many of my friends here and the staff is always nice.”

The staff at each school consists of a camp director and assistant director, college assistants and high school counselors and volunteers who supervise each group. The camaraderie between Massapequa’s older and younger students is considered one of the program’s strongest assets.

“The campers look up to the counselors as role models,” Mr. Kiernan said. “It’s cool to have a high school student to be in charge of you.”

“The counselors are nice and they’re very welcoming,” added Ryder D., a fourth grader at Lockhart Elementary School.

Massapequa High School incoming junior Ronnie A. is working with Summer Recreation for the first time at Lockhart. He said the children in his group, who are entering fourth and fifth grade, love playing kickball, making bracelets and relaxing with a movie. 

“I enjoy the kids,” he said, noting that he was looking for a summer job working with children. “They’re very nice. They’re just a good group.”

Junior Fiona H. is a graduate of Fairfield Elementary School and is working there as a Summer Recreation counselor for the second summer. Most important for her, she said, is making sure her campers have a good time.

“It’s really fun making good memories with them,” she said, “that I know they’ll remember for a long time.”