The UCSB Recreation Dept.’s Summer Camp program, which allows children to use the campus’ recreational and sports facilities, will mark its 30th anniversary this June.
The camp is available to youths between the ages of four and 13 and features activities including surfing, kayaking, swimming, gymnastics and rope adventures during 10-week sessions starting June 13. The program began in 1982 with only seven campers and has expanded to an average of 200 adolescents per session.
According to Camp Director Ray Robitaille, the program has also spread the scope of its activities to accommodate growing enrollment over the years.
“When we started, all we had was Rob Gym and some fields,” Robitaille said. “Now we have the Recreation Center and we use the Thunder Dome from time to time. The program has grown as the university’s facilities and recreation have grown, so we are able to offer more activities than we did in the 80s.”
Robitaille said the program helps promotes outdoor activities for children over the summer break and employs a camp counselor staff comprised entirely of college students, three-fourths of whom attend UCSB.
“The summer program is about keeping kids active,” Robitaille said. “We have a full array of activities from swimming to land sports, like soccer and baseball. Kids climb the adventure program rock wall and do arts and crafts, music and archery.”
According to Summer Camp Coordinator Cathy Czuleger, the camp is a community cornerstone incorporating two generations of local families.
“Some of our first campers became counselors with us and then their children became campers,” Czuleger said. “We are very proud of the connection we have with participants, their families and our counselors over the years.”
The program also offers other camps, including the Counselor in Training program, for older age groups to grant campers between the ages of 14 to 18 the opportunity to receive counselor credentials and earn community service credit through their schools. Czuleger said the program is one of several opportunities to learn useful life skills.
“We now also offer a Junior Lifeguards Program and the UCSB Surf & Kayak camp,” Czuleger said. “The UCSB Recreation Center Aquatics team also teaches swim lessons.”
Enrollment for the children’s camp is available online at http://www.recreation.ucsb.edu/camps.