The Lansing Parks and Recreation department rolled out its annual summer programs booklet this month, showcasing more than 30 different camps and activities with a little bit of something for everyone.
The 2017 offerings include the staples, such as soccer and baseball camps, and the more specific, such as a “Cupcake Wars” cooking class and week of robotics.
“The point is, it’s not all athletic people,” Lansing parks and recreation director Steve Colt said. “We have to think of recreation as a big picture with some kids building legos and some kids going to Robotics camp. That’s what they do. That’s recreation for them. So it’s not just about sports equipment things. It’s the whole package.”
The headline program is once again the week-long soccer camp held in August (this year it’s Aug. 7 to 11). Last year was the first time it reached 200 participants in its 20-plus years. It was also the last camp for longtime boys’ varsity soccer coach Adam Heck, a beloved and well-known coach who died suddenly on Aug. 27, 2016 on the eve of his 21st season coaching the Lansing Bobcats.
“At his memorial service, I met with Beth (his wife) and his brother and stuff and I pulled them aside,” Colt said, “and I said, look, we’re getting ahead of ourselves but I want to name it after Adam. So that’s what we did.”
The Adam Heck Annual Soccer Camp is split into two age groups: kindergarten through third with hours of 9 a.m. to 12 p.m and third through 10th, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $90 for the full day, $40 for half-day, and will be conducted at the Town Hall Fields.
Benji Parkes, a 2012 Lansing graduate who played for Heck and took over head coaching duties for the varsity boys team, will run the program with Eric Stickel, who coached the girls varsity team from 2012 to 2014 and is the current boys modified head coach.
“They’re the right guys to do it,” Colt said. “And I know Beth, she was in the loop a little bit for these decisions and she really liked it. So we’re hoping to carry it forward.”
Heck’s legacy will also live on in the “Lansing Fly Fishing School,” which will be held July 10 through 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $60 for children ranging from 10 years old to adult age.
“Not many people knew how much Adam loved to fish,” Colt said. “But that was his main thing. You know, he coached, but for him, just himself, fishing was what did it for him.”
Heck started the program last summer with his close friend, Jeff Dende, at Dende’s parents’ home on Armstrong Road. Dende has a background in all the variables in fly fishing, including guiding in New York and Vermont.
“It was just something that Jeff wants to keep going on, sort of for Adam,” Colt said.
The location has a pond that lends itself well to fly fishing.
“It’s more than just throwing your pieces of worm in the water,” Colt said. “You gotta have skills.”
Other athletic offerings include baseball, basketball, archery, track, cross-country, “Core & Mechanics;” water sports, put on by Paddle-N-More at Myers Park; and a volleyball camp Colt said he’d been looking to do for a while as the sport becomes more popular in Lansing.
The non-athletic offerings are lengthy. The Lansing Robotics Camp, held July 31 through Aug. 4 for students entering grades fifth through eighth, is back for its third year under the direction of Lansing High School physics teacher Andrea Schneider.
“You learn softball at kindergarten. You might as well start learning robotics when you’re younger,” Colt said. “It’s another way you could even get into college, through engineering.”
Campers will learn the basics of engineering “in the context of a robotics tournament,” according to the booklet. They’ll work in teams with the help of the Lansing High School robotics team to construct a robot that will compete at the end of the week.
A “Full STEAM Ahead” camp will also be held for the same age group that week.
Orchestra camp, band camp, art camp, “It’s ‘Sew Good’ Camp” (sewing) and Dance Club are additional offerings as well as Theatre Camp, which makes its return after a nearly 15-year hiatus.
The popular cooking camp run by Stacie Kropp and Carolyn Shaw—especially popular in the Lansing Town Hall offices since they get to be occasional judges—will have three offerings the week of July 17 to 21.
The Crazy Kitchen Mystery for second and third graders is a “priceless recipe has been lost and must be recovered.” Cupcake Wars will run the same week for children entering fourth, fifth and sixth grades. And Around the World with Food is for “advanced chefs,” fifth grade and up.
What was the butterfly camp last year will return as “Pollinator Camp” with Lisa Scanlon and Wendy Wright with two sessions divided by age that run Aug. 14 to 18.
“She talks about how nasty the world would be, and it would be, if you didn’t have things to pollinate. That’s a huge deal,” Colt said.
Sign-ups are also available for private music lessons with middle school band teacher Carlen Myers and private swim lessons with Krista Taylor and Shelly, Carlyn and Meghan Metheny.
Due to the work being done at the high school pool, the summer swim camp there won’t go on this year so instead the department is offering private lessons for those families with pools.
The cost for one child is $20 per half hour; for two or more (up to six) it is $15 per half hour.
All offerings can be found in the 2017 booklet, with cover design by Robin Schuttenbeg, that can be picked up at the Lansing Town Hall.
It can also be found online at lansingrec.com. Children who live in the Town of Lansing will be enrolled first; others will be placed on a list to be accepted only if the program is not filled.
To register, fill out the form in the booklet and either drop off or mail to the Lansing Recreation Department.
This article ran in the May 17 issue of the Finger Lakes Community Newspapers, including the Lansing Ledger.