The City of Warren's summer playground program opened Monday morning at five sites.
Approximately 50 participants between the ages of seven and 14 were on hand at Lacy, DeFrees, Beaty and Crescent playgrounds to capture flags, dodge balls and even learn a card trick or two.
Activities were also held at Mulberry Playground.
Photo by Jacob Perryman
Gage Shaffer and Ethan Wilson stopped by Lacy Park on Monday to participate in the City of Warren’s summer playground program. Dodgeball was just one of the activities they took part in throughout the day.
"Things are going great so far," program staff member Ashley Herzing said at Lacy.
"It's kind of a slow day," staff member Marissa Lyle said. "We're making friendship bracelets here at the pavilion and the kids are getting games together."
According to staff member Grace King at DeFrees, "We play a lot of games here. We don't get a lot of kids here to play things like big kickball games they have at some of the other parks."
DeFrees had only four participants around noon Monday to play cards and teach each other magic tricks, but King anticipated a better turn-out later in the day.
"I know summer music school is going on so we won't get many kids until later on," King said.
Turnout at Crescent was also low with staff members estimating only eight participants had attended throughout the day. Staff member Kara Mattern attributed the low turnout to it being the program's first day.
At Beaty, turnout was significantly better with staff estimated approximately 20 children attending.
"It's going good," said staff member Emily Martin, who is in her third year with the program. "We got a lot of new kids this year, so that's kind of fun."
Despite the slow start for the program this year, there was no shortage of enthusiasm from participants at any of the playgrounds.
"I think it's gonna be pretty cool," Gage Shaffer said of the Lacy program.
"We played five games of capture the flag," Kayley Ressler said of activities at Lacy. "I was in 'jail' for most of them though."
Although a number of activities went on throughout the day, one seemed to be the clear game of choice at the playgrounds.
"We play games like capture the flag," Noel Levai said while guarding his team's 'jail' at Beaty during a game. "I like it because there's a lot of people here."
Participant also were looking forward to the program's upcoming trips and recalled enjoying them in past years.
"I liked the canoe trip last year because we got to swim," Levai said.
"The trip (to Darien Lake) on the (June) 28th is my favorite," Gianna Stearns, who was working on assembling a paper plane at Crescent, said.
Regardless of where they attended, one description of the program could be heard again and again.
Shaffer, Stearns, Levai, Donovan Fiscus at Crescent and Ethan Wilson at Lacy all agreed, "It's fun."
The city's summer playground program runs through Aug. 10.