TOWNSEND -- Revamped tennis courts have Townsend Recreation itching to get started.
Summer recreation will run weekdays beginning Monday, July 2 through Aug. 10. Applications for the summer are still available, but kids are also welcome to come as they please for daily rates. According to Director Karen Clement, the program is loosely structured so as to be as different from school as possible.
"It's different from what they're doing during the school year. If they want to move onto another activity, we have counselors escort them around," she said.
Each day, recreation puts on a few different sports and arts-and-crafts projects throughout the day. Special classes are offered several days too, such as baton class, dancing, floor-hockey games, singing instruction, and even modeling -- yes, the glamour and runway kind, not scale-plane and car-building.
In addition, the staff hosts special themed days to spice up the experience. Dressing up for and getting into the spirit of superhero day, crazy hair/hat day, backwards day, pirate day and others is encouraged.
"The entire staff gets into it. It's about having fun during the summer, that's all," Clement said.
Summer recreation has expanded that fun this year, with days running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Early drop-off and late pick-up hours have also been added to accommodate working parents. Children can be dropped off at 7:30 a.m. and picked up as late as 4:30 p.m. for an additional $10 per day.
Special-event activities such as water games, nature hikes, a checker tournament, candy bingo and a trading-card extravaganza are also scheduled. On Wednesday, for example, a bike-and-scooter rodeo was held, at which Townsend police and VFW conducted a safety course. Tuesday, July 31 (which also happens to be pirate day), there will be an obstacle course and scavenger hunt.
Tryouts for the summer night theater's production of "Simple Task" are coming up, too. They are open for grades 5 and above and the show will be performed in August. The last day also features a talent show at 9 a.m.
Field trips to Coco Keys water park, Sturbridge Village, Cinema World to see "Ice Age: Continental Drift," the Boston Aquarium and Roll on America are dotted throughout the summer as well. Payment deadlines will be announced to attendees.
On Thursday, July 12, the Kelly Miller Circus is coming to the Hawthorne Brook Middle School field. The event is open to the public and will benefit Townsend Recreation, and tickets are avalable at Bailey's Bar and Grill, Workers Credit Union, the Townsend House Restaurant and the treasurer's office in Memorial Hall.
The tennis program is scheduled for the week following the end of summer recreation, and is tentatively scheduled to be held on the Ashby Courts, Clement said. Currently, the Hawthorne Courts are being renovated and may be ready in time for the sessions.
"Our instructor Greg Reardon does tennis instruction year-round. He teaches in Florida in the off-season," Clement said. "He projects his excitement and love of the sport onto the kids. It makes for an enthusiastic class."
Tennis runs from Aug. 13 to 17 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. It is open to children ages 13 to 17 and costs $70.
Clement says when it comes to recreation, the sky is the limit.
"We are always looking for instructors to host new programs," she said. "If anyone wants to bring something to the summer program, we should see if it can fit."
New program ideas in exercise, drama, music, sports, or additions to existing programs are always welcome, Clement said.
For information, applications or a summer-recreation schedule, email Recreation Director Karen Clement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Luke Steere at twitter.com/lsnashobapub.