EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

July 9, 2013

Extreme heat, rain has camp directors scrambling

Summer recreation programs adapt to changes in weather

A wild stretch of weather has caused some scheduling problems for many recreation programs this summer.

With heavy rain one day and scorching heat the next, it’s been difficult for recreation directors to plan their programs.

“It’s stressful,” Windham recreation director Cheryl Haas said. “Everything is so unpredictable. It will rain in one part of town, but not others.”

As a result, some programs are reporting limited attendance.

“People are hesitant to sign up for things,” Haas said. “On some days it’s just too hot to be outside, people would rather be at the movies instead.”

Haas said the town beach at Cobbetts Pond was surprisingly quiet during the recent heat wave, although she attributed some of that to the Fourth of July.

In Atkinson, recreation director Noriko Yoshida-Travers had to be patient when the first week of the town’s Sun ‘N Fun program did not go according to plan.

“Right away, we had to use Atkinson Academy from Monday to Wednesday because of the rain,” she said of last week’s activities. “It was challenging for sure.”

The program had to end early yesterday because of a sudden rain storm.

Sandown recreation director Deb Brown said the weather is impossible to control, but they have adopted a motto for their summer day camp program.

“We call ourselves the camp of flexibility,” Brown said. “Nothing stops us.”

When extreme weather occurs, directors and counselors need to be quick on their feet.

“We have a creative staff,” Brown said. “We’ll do activities out in the rain if it’s not too bad. We always have a bag of tricks to rely on.”

Yoshida-Travers said on hot days, kids are asked to bring bathing suits and water guns so they can do some wet activities.

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