TOWNSEND -- The Townsend Recreation Commission is offering a variety of classes and activities to keep children engaged this summer.

Summer Rec is open to children ages 5-13 from July 1 to Aug. 9 at Squannacook Elementary School.

Emy Hoff, recreation director for the Commission, said the Summer Rec program will offer a combination of arts and crafts and sports and activities for kids.

Also included in the Summer Rec program are a series of classes and activity days, including a nature photography walk, a game show day and gardening outside of Squannacook Elementary.

Summer Rec is also partnering with the Lawrence Library for a series of mini field trips that will include movie days, computer use and story time, among other library activities.

"We're utilizing the library and all of its wonderful public resources for the kids as well. The library has been phenomenal at partnering with Townsend Rec in a number of areas," Hoff said.

Other classes offered a kitchen science class, a class where students can take computers apart to learn about how they work and a chorus class.

"The tagline for the Recreation Commission is 'Recreation, Inspiration, Education.' This is fun; it gives kids avenues they may not have discovered yet and gives them the value of socialization in a safe environment with counselors that truly care about them," Hoff said.

"It's not just about fun. Fun can be had with the value of education attached to it."

Registration for Summer Rec costs $400 for full day and $255 for half day. Registration closes Friday, June 28, but five-day passes, which allow students access to any five days of the program, can be purchased through Aug. 1 for $85.

Summer Rec is open to students from all neighboring towns, and there is no price difference for nonresidents of Townsend.

The Recreation Commission will also host a Counselors in Training class for kids age 14 and up, which trains students in group management, team building, leadership, first aid and other aspects of being a counselor. The class will run from July 15-26, and costs $75.

Although the program does not guarantee future employment with the Recreation Commission, it provides kids with valuable training and resume-building skills, Hoff said.

Hoff said the summer programs strike a balance between providing kids with the educational environment parents desire, while also allowing them to have fun and stay entertained throughout the summer.

"For a lot of parents who are working, it gives them peace of mind to know that their kids are having a good time, that they're safe and that they are coming out with good experiences and hopefully some additional knowledge," Hoff said.

Follow Chelsea Feinstein at Twitter.com/CEFeinstein.