Get kids and adults outdoors: Camps, academies and other programs await at Tiffin parks

PHOTO SUBMITTED Children show off masks they made during a previous Adventure Day Camp.

Summer is heating up, and so are the summer programs with Tiffin Parks & Recreation Department.

The pool opened Memorial Day and is open 1-7 p.m. daily, and Recreation Coordinator Nick Basting said children’s programs start this week. Aimed at children ages 5-14, the summer programs are designed as fun, educational camps.

He said Hero Academy and baseball camp are full, as are most of the sessions for equestrian camps, but there are more sports camps and Adventure Day Camps to choose from. Register by visiting the website tiffinparks.com.

“When you go to the registration tab, it’ll tell you which ones are open,” he said. “A majority of our camps do have a nominal fee.”

For example, the fee for each Adventure Day Camp is $20.

PHOTO SUBMITTED Young people walk along the Sandusky River during a Adventures in Nature camp program led by Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Although spaces are filled this year, Basting said young people might want to keep in mind the new Culinary Camp for next summer.

“We’re partnering up with the Vanguard-Sentinel Career Center and Valerie Zeno,” he said. “She is going to instruct a small group of kids on food safety and food preparation, and they’ll actually get to make their parents a meal on the last day of camp.”

The class was limited this year to 12 children ages 8-12.

Also new this year is an expansion to PLAY Days to include lunch at noon Friday and June 29, July 20 and 27, and Aug. 10.

Planned Leisure Activities for Youth are organized games, crafts and activities in neighborhood parks from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Parents, grandparents or child care providers are encouraged to participate and should stay for the entire program.

PHOTO SUBMITTED Children take part in a beginner archery class during Adventures in Nature, a partnership between Tiffin Parks & Recreation Department and Tiffin-Seneca County Izaak Walton League.

“We’re going to provide a free lunch on for any kids in the community who want to come out,” Basting said. “There’s a different menu each week.”

He and Parks & Recreation Director Bryce Kuhn are cooking one day and community members are volunteering for other days.

“We’re working with the Y as well,” he said. “It’s kind of an extension of the Y’s backpack lunch program.”

During the school year, Tiffin Community YMCA provides a lunch program for children.

“Our aim to is get the community outside, get them involved and visit with us,” Basting said.

The first PLAY Day with lunch starts at noon Friday at Oakley Park. Other Fridays on the schedule are June 29 at the Moose shelter at Hedges-Boyer Park, July 20 at Beechwood Park, July 27 at Oakley Park and July 10 at Oakley Park.

Basting said the traditional summer concert series begins at H-B Park this year and continues in mid-July at the new East Green Amphitheater.

North Coast Concert Band kicks off the concert series at 7:30 p.m. today in the band shelter at H-B Park. Other concerts in the series, sponsored by Tiffin Moose, include Fostoria Community Band at 7:30 p.m. June 10, The Late Show at 7:30 p.m. June 24 and Rusty Vinyl at 7 p.m. July 1.

Similar activities are to continue at the East Green, beginning July 14 with Pizza Palooza and a family movie. Basting said the park department is providing the movie equipment and getting movie permission.

The traditional Fourth of July celebration is planned at H-B Park.

“It’s on July 4 at the park,” he said. “That’s a Wednesday. The last couple of years it’s been a different day.”

The swimming pool is to be open 1-7 p.m., and pool games are planned as well as a water balloon toss outside of the pool. Eric Sowers Band is to provide entertainment 6-10 p.m., followed by fireworks at 10 p.m.

“We’ll have food vendors and all that kind of stuff,” Basting said.

He said the popular celebration usually draws around 3,000 people.

“It is the strong recommendation of the park staff that people walk or ride their bikes to the park that day,” he said. “There’s plenty of space to sit, but not a lot of parking space. It usually takes an hour to clear out the parking areas after the fireworks.”

Basting reminds residents of Rock Creek Trail, a multi-use trail for use by walkers, bicyclists, inline skaters or other non-motorized means of transportation.

“They can bring a wagon and park downtown,” he said.

The trail goes from downtown Tiffin to H-B Park, beginning at Little Hedges Park behind Calvert High School and continuing along the scenic Rock Creek, through Heidelberg University property and ends at Hedges-Boyer.

In addition to the special events going on, Basting said the parks are generally active in the summer months.

“There’s always stuff going on,” he said. “We have our adult volleyball leagues going on. We have over 200 adults participating this year.”

Several adult softball leagues are ongoing such as a men’s league and a church league in addition to youth leagues.

“There’s been a lot of improvements made to Kernan Park,” he said. “They put fences up and they cleaned those infields up a lot. They’re putting a roof over the dugout. This was all done by volunteers. They’re doing a great job with that.”

Just a few other possibilities for enjoying the parks include the disc golf course at Hedges-Boyer, recreational trails, playground equipment and picnic shelters.

Basting invited everyone to visit the parks this summer and get outside.

For more information on park programs, visit the website, tiffinparks.com, or call (419) 448-5408 or (567) 207-6434 with specific questions.

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