Fun in the sun


Registration under way for Noblesville Parks’ summer day camps

Campers enjoy activities in White River during last summer's day camp. (Photos provided by Noblesville Parks Dept.)

Parents interested in having their children participate in Noblesville Parks and Recreation Dept. summer camps should register today, Recreation Director Susie Davis advised. Davis said registration for day camps began Feb. 1, and by Feb. 29, two camps were already filled – Cheerleading and Superheroes (morning class). As of April 19, seven of the 38 sessions were already filled.

“We’re striking a cord,” Davis said.

A capacity crowd of more than 1,000 children attended day camps last summer.

Unlike other summer camps used as alternatives for day care, the Noblesville camps run half-day with morning and afternoon sessions of the same topic. Davis said this allows children to return home “fresh and energized” to enjoy the remainder of their day.

“There aren’t many camps in the area that run half-day camps,” she said.

Cheerleading Camp

Davis explained the half-day camps are particularly popular with grandparents watching children during the summer because it allows time for them to interact with others their age and still spend time at home.

“We’ve had children visiting from California, Texas and Michigan that attended while they were just visiting for a week or two,” said Davis. “It’s a great opportunity to let kids be kids – to run, play and make new friends.”

Noblesville Parks Day Camps run in one week sessions from June 4 to Aug. 3, rain or shine. Camps begin and end at different times at Dillon and Forest parks.

“It takes 15 minutes to drive between the two parks,” explained Davis. “The first year, we had them (camps) at the same time, and it didn’t work (for parents).”

Morning camp is $55 and runs 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. to noon, depending on camp location. Afternoon camps are $50 and run 1:15 to 3:45 p.m. at Dillon Park and 1:30 to 4 p.m. at Forest Park. Costs are a little more for nonresidents, but Davis said if the caregiver lives in Noblesville, the child is charged with the resident fee.

Noblesville also offers an evening session from 6:15 to 8:45 p.m. at Dillon Park during July for $50. Davis said the evening sessions were designed for children who attended day care or were otherwise unavailable to participate in day camps, and because the event lawn at Dillon Park provides little shade, the later time allows for the sun to begin to set.

“It’s a little cooler, and therefore, a little bit more enjoyable,” she said.

Noblesville provides three different types of camps – nature camps in June and traditional day camps in July at Forest Park, and sports and games at Dillon Park. Davis explained each type of camp is based on ISTEP+ standards, including environmental science, science experiences and physical education.

“The educational guidelines ensure kids are developing from these opportunities,” she said. “What they (kids) learned in school sitting at a desk comes alive.”

Nature camps emphasize nature in the outdoors with new guest speakers and live animals. A camp favorite year after year is the “Nature’s Yucky” session, which explains what makes gross animals gross.

“It’s gross things animals do that people don’t expect,” said Assistant Recreation Director Cindy Knapp.

Traditional camps include daily adventures and fun outdoor activities. One day each week, campers will meet at Hague Road Nature Havens Park site to hike, wade and explore Hinkle Creek and its surroundings. New camp offerings this year include “Superheroes” and “Big Vehicles.”

Sports and game camps provide an introduction to the sports focus of that week and vary from skateboarding to soccer, cheerleading to kickball. While campers spend one hour a day working on skills, drills and specific sport-related activities, Davis explained sports camps are not clinics.

“They (kids) still sing silly songs and are at camp,” she said. “They don’t spend the entire three hours doing sports.”

Davis said the camps keep a 1-6 ratio of adults to campers for little kids, and the camps never go more than a 1-8 ratio for older campers.

“Camp counselors have completed at least one year of college and a good portion of our staff is teachers or education majors,” said Davis, adding the parks department has 90-percent staff retention. “Everybody has a plan to work with children in their future.”

The staff is trained for two weeks and every counselor is CPR-, AED- and First-Aid-certified. Davis said three staffers are also available for children with special accommodations.

“We serve all children of all abilities,” she said.

Camps are for children ages 4 to 12, with a few options available to precampers (ages 2-and-a-half to 4). To register for camp, call 770-5750, or visit

Noblesville Parks 2012 Summer Day Camp Session Descriptions

Dillon Park Sport and Games Camp

Children of ages 4 to 12 are invited to Dillon Park camps, unless otherwise noted.

Skateboard Camp – for 5 yr. olds and older. Learn the basics of skateboarding. Regulation skateboard and helmet is required; additional padding is recommended.

Cheerleading Camp – Try out this sport for great fun and phenomenal exercise! Cheers, chants, and simple stunts are included.

Sports Sampler Camp – Each day is an introduction to a different sport! Come learn about T-ball, flag football, lacrosse, soccer, to see what you like best.

Flag Football Camp – Open for boys and girls, rudimentary skills and techniques of football will all be a part of this week’s fun.

Kickball Camp – A perennial favorite that all can enjoy, have fun and be active with Kickball camp!

Soccer Camp – Why does everyone play soccer? Want to give it a try? Here’s a chance to learn the very basics of soccer, in just a week.

T-Ball & Softball Camp – During this week of camp, campers will learn the basics of T-Ball/Softball. From terms to batting and fielding, try out this camp before making your way to the big leagues!

Backyard Games – Tag, you’re it! S-P-U-D Spud! Dodge ball and four square. Come enjoy games all can play at home, in a schoolyard, or at the park. For the fun of it!

Tennis Camp – For campers 5 years old and up. This camp is designed to be an introductory course to the world of tennis. Here, kids will learn the basics such as serving, aces, and strokes. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to Wimbledon!

Camp Olympics – The Day Camp summer athletic culmination, Dillon Park Olympics, year VI!


Forest Park Nature Day Camp

Pre-camp is for children 2 ½ – 4 yrs. of age WITH PARENT. Blast Camp is for children 4-10 yrs. old. Cool Campers are youth 8-12 years of age.

Nature’s Yucky – Find out just what makes gross animals gross. What do these animals do the makes folks so uncomfortable around them? You’ll learn their secrets!

Animal Superpowers – Have you ever seen an animal with an ability that just seems out of this world? Well then come to Animal Superpowers Camp and learn about animals that can see in the dark, change their skin colors, and fly without wings, just to name a few!

What’s for Dinner? – Yum! Are you a producer, consumer, or both? What is the food chain and how does it play into our daily lives? Here, you will learn the sequence of events of how plants and animals become nourishment for the next on the food chain! Parent/child pre-camp session available for ages 2½ to 4.

Nature Sleuths – There’s a nature riddle that campers must solve. Find the clues and solve the puzzle before the week is out! Cool Camp session available for ages 8-12 yrs.

Big Vehicles – Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with some large equipment vehicles, even including a locomotive? Then get into gear and sign up because the only way to miss these vehicles is by not coming! This session runs in partnership with the Indiana Transportation Museum.

Superheroes – Up in the sky! It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s… who is your favorite Superhero? We’ll talk about all those super abilities, and some we all share. We’ll also explore those abilities we see in the animal world. While animals may not have laser beams for eyes, they do have some amazing abilities that set them apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Parent/child pre-camp session available for ages 2½ to 4.

Mysteries, Maps, and Riddles – There’s a different problem to solve, or answer to find, daily right here in Forest Park. Are you a good detective?

Wet ‘n’ Wild – For all those who think cool and love to be wild! Come prepared to get wet and learn about all things wet’n’wild!

Model Aeronautics – for Cool campers only, Model Aeronautics uncovers the science behind flight with gliders and model airplanes. Ages 8-12; additional $10 fee.

For session dates, times and costs, vist

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