REC helps youth stay active


Courtesy of Recreational Sports and Wellness

Children participate in art activities during the “Roomie’s REC Camp.“ This year’s camp begins on May 28 and will provide children aged 4-12 opportunities to engage in a friendly learning environment.

Recreational Sports and Wellness works to promote various youth programs for the entire community to experience.

“Roomie’s REC Camp” offers the chance for children aged 4-12 years to build self-confidence while being engaged in a friendly, learning environment. The summer camp will be held near the Pennington Student Activity Center and will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning May 28 through August 2.

Seth Thomas, director of Recreational Sports and Wellness, explained the importance of the camp for both the participants and the university.

“The purpose is for the community to be involved,” said Thomas. “I think it’s important that the Recreational Sports and Wellness is interrelated with the community and help support the youth. The camp benefits both us and families.”

Throughout the 10-week camp, the campers are provided with multiple opportunities to stay active while participating in various structured programs and events. This includes scheduled field trips to the John C. Stennis Space Center or Dave & Buster’s, depending on the week that the camp is held.

Thomas Morris, assistant director of youth programs, was recently chosen to oversee the camp’s activities and ensure the well-being of the participants.

“Safety is our number one goal and number one priority,” explained Morris. “All of our counselors are first aid and CPR and AED certified. When we swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we always have two lifeguards on duty, and the counselors always swim with the kids as there will always be adult supervision on the kids.”

Recreational Sports and Wellness offers staff members with unique training, which allows the participants to experience more rewarding programs while attending the camp.

“Seth, Jason Templet and I are all Astro Camp certified,” shared Morris. “We went to the Stennis Space Center where we became certified, so we can be able to teach activities about space to the kids.”

The counselors and staff aim to create a fun, welcoming atmosphere in order to relate more with the campers.

“The connection that we build is unique,” said Morris. “It’s all college students where the counselors want to make a difference. The relationships that build between me, the counselors and the kids means we’re all going to be on same page and have the same goal of having fun and staying safe.”

A rise in the number of participants has led to the increased popularity of “Roomie’s REC Camp.”

“We tripled our camp numbers from last year compared to the years before,” stated Thomas. “Before, we had 75 registrations, and it’s grown to 222. Our average attendance was about 70 kids a week compared to 35-40 a week before then.”

Thomas hopes the camp will continue to grow and maintain a high level of consistency in the future.

“I’m looking forward to carrying on the excitement from last year and making sure all the participants have a great time,” shared Thomas. “I also am looking forward to increased communication with the parents and the campers.”

The cost per camper is $160 per week, which covers the camper’s fees, meals and a T-shirt. For more information and to register, visit the Recreational Sports and Wellness website.