While I am extremely glad the summer heat is almost over, it’s also very bittersweet for me to see the summer end. With another successful year of summer camps under our belts here at the Community Center, I can’t help but reflect on some of this summer’s highlights.
We always ramp up for summer with an employee training week. We review uniforms, CPR procedures, employee expectations, and customer service – just to name a few items we discussed. This year, the Recreation Services team revamped the employee training to include more hands-on and active learning opportunities, as well as more scenario-based training. This new approach was well received by new and old staff, and the consensus was that everyone felt prepared and ready for their jobs this summer. We ended our employee training week with a potluck to allow staff to get to know each other, and it was a hit!
The following week, our Summer Camps finally kicked off, and everyone on our staff was ready. There were several unique camps, but Forensic Files was definitely an all-around favorite! During this week long camp, the kids worked on solving a crime by lifting fingerprints, collecting hair and dust samples, studying particles under a microscope, and interviewing their suspects.
To everyone’s surprise, I was the culprit who ransacked the older kid’s classroom leaving behind a string of lunchboxes and a broken flower pot as clues. My ransacking came to a halt when I found cookies in the younger kid’s classroom. I left cookie crumbs and clues for the kids and staff to figure out “whodunit.” Both classes did a fantastic job acting as Special Agents for the week by putting their investigative skills to work solving the crime—and they had a blast too!
This summer, we also had a lot of new employees, who reported they had an amazing time working here. They loved interacting with the kids, doing the crafts and activities alongside them, and making new friends with other staff. Thankfully, we will be welcoming them all back next summer…if they’ll have us!
Right now, we are gearing up for fall at the Community Center so be sure to check out the newly released Manassas Park Community Center Fall Mosaic! We’re busy preparing our Extended Care program for the new school year. We are bringing back our popular fall Special Events and are hiring more Recreation Services staff. So, even though the summer is ending, the fun isn’t. We truly appreciate and thank all those who helped to make this summer so memorable and successful.
Jacquelyn Tyre-Perry is the Recreation Specialist for School Aged Programs for the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 x3928 or via email at J.Tyre-Perry@ManassasParkVA.gov.