Boardman Pool and Recreation Center Setting Up Summer Event Program

Teenagers try out paddleboarding during the 2022 Teen Summer program in the marina in Boardman. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Kiester)

The Boardman Pool and Recreation Center is offering local youths a route to fill their time as the summer season approaches.

The FUNtastic Kidz and Teen Summer programs launch on June 20 and run to July 20, giving children and teenagers on summer vacation an opportunity to stay engaged through the warmer months.

“The social skills that they get through this program, the cooperation they have and to learn these interpersonal skills are so valuable and needed in situations like this,” recreation coordinator Hannah Kiester said.

“So the kids get to utilize more of these skills instead of sitting around all summer and playing Nintendo Switch.”

Kiester said the center has several activities planned for the summer program, including slacklines, obstacle courses, crafts and other camp activities.

“It’s going to add a lot of good structure to that age group,” she said. “We’ll also provide them with some sneaky ways for them to learn, so that they won’t really know that they’re learning about nature and shapes and stuff like that, but they are.”

While the summer program is a method for keeping students engaged while on break, it also eases some stress from working parents during their children’s vacations.

“We provide and pay for bussing, so the kids can just go to their normal bus stop and we pick them up and bring them to camp, feed them and bring them home,” Kiester said.

“It’s free for the community, and it’s for the parents who are working during the summer and don’t really have anywhere to go for their kids.”

Kiester said the program had been going on for at least two decades.

“The Pool and Rec Center has been doing it for five years, and we’ve been told that this has been going on for over 20 years throughout the community.”

Teenagers taking part in the program have opportunities to try their hands at more advanced activities, like paddleboarding, wood-burning and grilling.

“It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure camp to keep them more engaged,” Kiester said. “It’s a good outlet for them to socialize with their friends, but also in a more safe and controlled environment.”

“It’s a huge benefit for the community and the parents within it, it’s something you don’t have to pay for. It really saves a dime.”


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