By Anne O'Connor
TOWNSEND -- Watch out! The Bumblers have arrived.
Townsend Recreation is offering fun and exciting programming for everyone from the littlest kids to adults. They recently began partnering with the folks at the library to create easy-to-access activities.
"A lot of new stuff is coming out this year. We're really building," said Emy Hoff, recreation director.
Families with young children are used to attending the popular storytimes at Townsend Public Library. Now, the Recreation Department and librarians are working together to share resources and make it easier for the children to get reading time and activity time in one trip.
Instead of running stand-alone programs, the Bumblers classes are coordinated with the reading groups. The activities are usually geared for children age two through five.
The Bumblers music and movement classes run in four- or five-week sessions. Each session begins with an instrument-making class. "We're really trying to do as much as we can with recycling and upcycling. There's just so much excess," Hoff said.
The first class is free and gives parents a chance to meet the instructor, Carolyn Farley. "People want to know who deals with their children," Hoff said. The next classes in the session cost $5 each. The fees are used to pay the teacher.
There are usually a few weeks between each session of the music and movement classes and other classes are offered.
This summer marks the first year Hoff has helmed the summer recreation program. It will be held at Squannacook School instead of Hawthorne Brook Middle School because the school district needs the latter building this summer, Hoff said.
Since the space is more limited, the recreation program has plans in the works to spread out to other venues. The summer group will be regular visitors to the library and plans to use the adjoining Meeting Hall when it is available.
Walking trips to the fields at Spaulding School are planned. It would be a full-day activity arranged in advance, like an in-town field trip, Hoff said. The walks would not be held on very hot days. "It's safety first," she said.
Outside educators will be invited in for special events: Hoff is talking with the Nashua River Watershed Association to plan an event. Other activities will be based on the interests of the leaders in the program.
"We have a really great group of counselors this year," she said. "We do have some really cool things happening."
Two counselors who have won chorus awards will lead a chorus class. Another counselor who is really into fantasy and sci-fi is planning activities that will use recycled materials to make things in that genre. Another counselor with a special interest in history will present a slide show and lead activities.
Not all of the four field trips have been planned, but Hoff is looking for ways to make them more affordable. A visit to a state park might be substituted for a trip to the water park.
A preliminary schedule and registration information are available through the Recreation Commission's page on the town website. The program runs form July 1 to Aug. 9 with full and half-days available. In addition to enrolling by the week, a punch card for five drop-in visits can be purchased.