Camp time can be 'cool' time

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Nicole Spirito knows what kids like when temperatures kick into the high 80s. It’s water.

So it’s no wonder that H2O and swim were two of the more popular programs Monday at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Warwick Summer Camp, held at the Masonic Temple grounds off Long Street. But that’s not to imply that the arts, sports and recreation, STEAM, ultimate journeys and triple play bombed. Quite the opposite, the cross section of camp activities hummed as groups divided by age moved from one event to the next on the spacious grounds overlooking Greenwich Bay.

Spirito, now a mom and with her own 3-year-old daughter who can’t wait to become a camper, has been working the camp for the last 11 years. She loves it and takes pride in seeing the camp improve year after year.

“This is a brand,” she said of the camp that started on June 18 and will run for the summer. The day camp, which opens at 7 a.m. and runs to 6 p.m., has 150 campers between first and eighth graders. The cutoff is 14 years of age.

“The kids are having an absolute blast,” Spirito said of the latest program to be added to the schedule – H2O.

As the name suggests H2O has to do with water, but this is not the full emersion that the swim group gets at the pool. Rather, it involves a set of skills during which the kids try to avoid being squirted or spilling water.

Spirito said some campers register for the full summer while others may be there for as short as a week. The camp sees many of the same kids who attend programs at its branches in Oakland Beach and Norwood and its newest addition, the Club at Cooper on Sandy Lane.

In addition to a one-time $40 registration fee, the cost of camp is $100 a week. About 15 percent of the campers are on scholarships that have been supported by the Champlin Foundation, Warwick Rotary Club and other groups. Spirito said the camp is full and there’s a waiting list but urged parents with an interest to call and get their kids on the waiting list should an opening develop.

The camp has a staff of 20.

While water play, sports, crafts and games sound like a great way to spend the summer, Spirito especially likes that the activities weave in education and the campers are learning as they have a fun time.

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