No excuses for staying inside this summer, kiddos.
South Whidbey Parks & Recreation has such an array of activities planned that saying, “I’m bored,” won’t go very far.
At a recent youth tennis team session, the youngsters, all younger than 14, worked on improving their gawky swings into fluid forehands. Others, like 13-year-old Taylor Dance, were more interested in a squished caterpillar, especially since he was losing a singles set against friend James Hauser, also 13.
“Why do you want to go to my backhand,” Taylor asked James after returning a serve way wide on a backhand attempt.
There are plenty of team sports on the program list. From the Falcon basketball camp later this month to baseball and soccer clinics, playing with friends will have its day.
Then there are the non-traditional sports, which is more South Whidbey’s thing anyway. The popular kids sailing classes taught by members of the South Whidbey Yacht Club return to Lone Lake. Young Legolas and Katniss imitators can hone their skills with several iterations of archery camp. And the swim programs are packed with more than 185 registrants, another 60 on the swim team, plus a wait list for each.
Only a few programs are underway, with many slated to begin once school is out for summer break in late June or early July. One of the more popular youth activities was the junior tennis team for grades five to eight. It hit its maximum number of students at 12, which allowed instructor Teresa Wheeler to run young court kids through the basics of rules, serving and hitting until Thursday for a six-day crash course.
One of the students in her class was James Hauser, who said he was in his third tennis class with Wheeler. His reason for joining was pretty simple.
“The sun,” James said.
Fret not, tiny titans of tennis. There are several more chances to hit the South Whidbey High School tennis courts this summer with the junior tennis league which covers ages 6-17, a serve, rally and score class and family tennis, all of which begin in July. Groups for adult beginners, intermediate and advanced tennis are available, too.
All of the parks programs are designed to keep South Whidbey’s youngsters healthy. The University of Washington’s early childhood development department identifies one out of every five American children as obese. In Island County, the 2012 Community Health Assessment pegged 7 percent of 10th graders as obese and 11 percent as overweight, while 21 percent are active for at least 30 minutes during the seven days prior to taking the Healthy Youth Survey.
For the parks district’s full summer program list, visit the office or read it online at www.swparks.org.