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Summer playground program makes itself at home

It’s good to be back home again. Or more accurately, it’s good to finally have a home.

The Woolwich Memorial Centre is the new home base for the township’s summer playground program this year. Previously, the program was forced to shift between different schools as custodial staff did summer cleaning. Now they’ll be in one place for the duration of the program, and the new location will cut down on busing costs.

Playground supervisor Stephanie Brignolio is happy the program has found a permanent home at the Woolwich Memorial Centre.
Playground supervisor Stephanie Brignolio is happy the program has found a permanent home at the Woolwich Memorial Centre.

“I think it’s going to change it in a big way,” said Stephanie Brignolio, this year’s playground supervisor.

The campers will be just a short walk from Gibson Park, and under the same roof as the pool, where they wind up each day with a swim.

The summer playground is also expanding this year, from seven weeks to nine. Parents can register their children for one or two weeks or all nine.

The program kicks off July 5 and runs through to Sept. 3, with a different theme each week. The first theme, naturally, is “school’s out for summer;” other themes are animal kingdom, Olympic week, crazy carnival, water world, coyboy/cowgirl week, reptile week and Christmas in August, complete with tree decorating and a secret Santa gift exchange.

The children won’t be spending all their time in Elmira, either, making day trips to the Children’s Museum, the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, the butterfly conservatory, Yee Haw Adventure Farm and the African Lion Safari, among other destinations. Other shows like Pawley’s Reptiles and Klass Klown will come to them.

Children are divided into three age groups: Sunshine Club for ages 5-6, Summer Fun for ages 7-9, and Sports and Leisure for children 10-12.

This is Brignolio’s third year being involved with the summer playground, having been a leader two years ago and assistant supervisor last year. It’s also right up her alley, as she’ll be started her first year in Mohawk College’s recreation and leisure program in the fall.

“It’s exactly what I want to do,” she said. “This year is definitely going to be a great year.”

The cost of the program is $162 per week. To register, drop by the Woolwich Memorial Centre or go online to www.woolwich.ca/register.

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