Summer Still Has Plenty to Offer for Area Kids
By Joel Murillo
With summer now officially underway, the Stevens Point Area offers plenty of activities for anyone under 18.
The Boys & Girls Club of Portage County hosts about 200 kids daily during the summer month. According to Director of School Sites Danielle Goska, the kids participate in health/fitness, art and science activities designed to help them learn and grow.
“We encourage kids every day to build healthy habits,” Goska said.
The membership fee is $10 a year or $25 a year for families with 3 or more kids. Field trips are also held by the Boys & Girls Club, including a trip this year to Camp Helen Brachman in Almond for activities like archery, water park fun in Wisconsin Dells, and Funset Boulevard in Appleton.
The Stevens Point Area YMCA also provides opportunities for kids to have fun, including swimming and use the gym 7 days a week, with Friday Family Swim events from 6:30-8:00 PM.
Membership fees at the YMCA range from $3 per day or $15.45 per month for youths. Senior Director of Operations Joe Seubert added that the YMCA offers Camp Glacier Hollow for kids older than 7 throughout the summer.
“Camping options range from beginning levels to more advanced ones for teens,” Seubert said.
Adventure 212 offers a childcare program called Kid Zone. Kids from 6 weeks to 13 years old can attend, and the program offers activities like gym time and arts and crafts. General Manager Michele Glaeser said that Kid Zone benefits parents too.
“It’s a guilt-free workout for the parents because their kids are being taken care of by trained staff members,” Glaeser said.
Only members can attend Kid Zone, and the fee is included in the monthly membership cost. A drop-in day pass can also be purchased for $8.
Until August 8, Adventure 212 also provides a member-free football camp, designed to help pre-season high school athletes prior to the beginning of the season, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8-10 AM.
For children up to 7 years old, the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum offers summer programs to encourage learning. Kids can read, make arts and crafts, and play games. According to Executive Director Maggie Keneen, the setting is based on high quality early and elementary education as a group.
“The environment is designed for families to learn together actively,” She said. “It’s all based on exploration.”
The Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum’s summer membership program charges $40 for two adults and each child in the family. Families with this membership have unlimited visits to the museum.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage County allows kids to bond 1-on-1 with an adult that matches their interests. The “Bigs” (Adults) and “Littles” (kids) choose when to spend time and what to do together, participating in affordable or free activities. Executive Director Sharon Jakusz adds that the program helps the children long-term as well as short-term.
“The outcome for the child is, as a whole, improved academics, social skills, and they are less-likely to be involved in the criminal justice system,” Jakusz said.
The Portage Country BBBS will host Taste of the Town on Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 5-9 PM at Pfiffner Pioneer Park. “Littles” create the prizes won by the venders for 5 different food awards.
Bucks and Bulls Archery teaches children how to shoot bows and arrows. They offer beginner summer lessons for anyone 15 and under starting the second week in July, and participants in these 10 person groups are charged $20 per 45-60 minute lesson. Bow technician Daniel Parker said that Bucks and Bulls Archery offers more than group lessons.
“We have techno hunt tournaments (hunting video games) and a paper target league,” Parker said.
For more information, visit the organizations’ Facebook pages or visit their websites:
Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, INC.
Stevens Point Unit @ Jefferson Elementary: 1800 East Ave., June 16 – August 8, Open Mon-Fri, Mon-Thurs 12:30-5:30 and Fri 9-5, Grades 1-6, (715)-321-3099
The Club/Teen Center: 1007 Ellis St., June 9 – August 22, Open Mon-Fri from 12-6, Grades 7-12, (715)-341-4386
Rec Center: 2442 Sims Ave., June 9 – August 22, Open Mon-Fri from 12-6, Grades 7-12, (715)-341-4386
Plover Unit: 2401 Cedar Dr., June 9 – August 22, Open Mon-Fri from 7:30-5:30, Grades 1-12, (715)-295-0040
Madison View Summer Ext.: Madison View Apts. (601-733 John’s Dr.), June 9 – August 22, Open Mon-Fri from 11:30-5:30, Grades 1-12, (715)-341-4386
Junction City Ext. @ JF Kennedy Elementary: 616 W. 2nd St., June 16 – August 14, Open Mon-Thur from 11:30-5:30, Grades K-12, (715)-321-3098
Almond Bancroft EXT. @ Almond/Bancroft School: 1335 Elm St., June 9 – July 25, Open Mon-Thur from 12:30-5:30, Grades 1-8, (715)-366-2941 ext. 242
The Stevens Point Area YMCA
1000 Division St, Stevens Point, WI 54481
Monday – Friday: 5 am – 9:30 pm
Saturday: 6 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 4:30 pm
Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum
1100 Main St, Downtown Stevens Point, WI 54481
Adventure 212 – Fitness Center, Spa and Bistro
3217 John Joanis Dr., Stevens Point WI 54481
Kid Zone Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Friday: 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sunday: Closed for summer
Bucks & Bulls
3272 Church Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Wisconsin, Inc.
BBBS of Central Wisconsin-Portage County, 1000A Division Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481, (715)-341-0661
BBBS of Central Wisconsin-Marquette County, PO Box 749, Montello, WI 53949, (608)-369-3677
BBBS of Central Wisconsin-Waushara County, 300 S. 16th Ave. / PO Box 870, Wautoma, WI 54982, (920)-787-4577
Office Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. & by appointment, Friday: Closed