BEMIDJI-Water spilled and splashed, counselors sung and children excitedly cheered Friday as they ran around the Diamond Point Park Pavilion to participate in various "Kids in Motion" Summer Day Camp activities.
The "Kids in Motion" Summer Day Camp is put on by the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department and is broken into 10 seperate, week-long camps. Each week's camp follows a daily schedule that reflects a different theme.
"This is our first week of camp and we have about 24 campers everyday," said Alli Mans, camp counselor as she filled water buckets for excited children.
Mans continued to fill up buckets and turn on water for campers to rinse off after playing in the mud. The occasional smiling child stopped and took the time to tell her how much fun they were having.
Camp activities incorporate physical activity, adventure activities, swimming, crafts and more. A goal of the camp is to create an outlet for local children to get outside instead of staying cooped up for the summer. Camp counselors will be providing one snack during the day, but children are responsible for lunch and another snack.
"I think it is super cool to be apart of kids in action, because having them here gets them outside instead of being inside playing video games," Mans said.
Every child has a different idea of fun. But, there are many different opportunities for campers to find an activity they enjoy. Friday's afternoon camp activities included keychain making, water games and the chance for children to sit and enjoy a little free time in the warm weather.
"I really, really don't like water games," said one camper as he concentrated on beading a snake shaped keychain hanging from a picnic table.
Each camp will have a field trip day along with other special activities. Some special scheduled activities include, paddle boarding, fishing, Geo-Caching, team games, free time, yoga and nature programs
Mans said the motion camp doesn't only encourage physical activity but the building of relationships and experiences.
"Well, the first day, all the kids come in a little shy they don't know who is who or what is going," Mans said. "Over the week they have all become friends and comfortable playing in all different groups, bonding over fun things."
Weekly themes for the rest of the summer include Midwest is Best, Art in Motion, Toy Story, Camp Heros, Solar Power, Camp Builder, Challenge Accepted, Clean Water, Space Odyssey and Best of Summer, according to the city of Bemidji's event schedule.
Camps will run through Aug. 16, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children ages 6 to 12 can be registered for "Kids in Motion" camps throughout the summer for a $106.61 fee. A non-refundable $15 deposit is required upon registration according to the Parks and Recreation website.
To register, go to https://bemidjimn.recdesk.com or call (218) 333-1859.
Natalie Hilden is the Pioneer’s summer reporting intern. Originally from Nevis, she is a senior at South Dakota State University.