EO Recreation Department offers full slate of summer activities

EAST ORANGE, NJ — The East Orange Recreation Department has a full slate of summer programs available to children of all ages, now that the public school year has officially ended.

“Camp starts Tuesday, June 27, and it runs for six weeks through the fourth of August,” said Vicki Lewis, the East Orange Recreation Department’s supervisor for girls activities, Thursday, June 15.

“We have three sport camps: We have co-ed basketball camp, we have our girls cheerleading and dance camp and we’re also starting the co-ed track camp this year. So we have three sport camps going on and then we have two standard camps. One is here in this building at Fellowship Community Center and one is at the Hart Middle School. The only difference is that we take less kids here, because it’s a smaller facility, and we take more children at Hart Middle School because it’s bigger.

“Then we have ‘Grow and Glow,’ which is for our little people, ages 3 to 6 years old. We have them at three different sites around the city: The Mildred Barry Garvin School, Raleigh Park fieldhouse and Elmwood Park Fieldhouse.

“And we have teen camp, which Mr. Jefferson Wolf is the director of; he’s a teacher at the Cicely Tyson High School and this is one of his dreams and, as a result, it’s proven to be positive over the years, because we actually got a state award for teen camp. … We’re also working with autistic children in swimming.”

When it comes to providing youth recreational opportunities in East Orange, Lewis said the goal is simple.

“We’re trying to do something positive to help kids,” Lewis said. “We’re not going to help everybody, but wherever we can make a difference, that’s what counts.”

Wolf, who teaches TV and film at the Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, agreed with Lewis about the rec department’s goals, especially during the busy summer program.

“I’m holding teen camp, which is basically a camp for teenagers who get involved with the media, as far as photography, filmmaking and also television networking and broadcasting,” Wolf said Thursday, June 15. “So, if you have any kids that actually want to come over and have some fun for the summer, now’s the time to join. That window is still open. I think you will really find it very interesting. We go places: hiking, swimming, dancing; we really have a great time and I would love it if your child would like to be involved in our program.”

Recreation Department Director Osner Charles urged all East Orange families and youth to become involved in the activities available to residents.

“I have a host of staff members within the department that have taken on active roles in redirecting our youth and placing them on the right path and have done so for years,” said Charles on Thursday, June 15.

To enroll in any of the East Orange Recreation Department camps or programs, call 973-414-4141.

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