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Lake Orion Community Enrichment offers summer programs



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May 15, 2013 - Olivia Shumaker

Review Staff Writer

As the school year comes to a close, summer camp season is rapidly upon us, and Lake Orion Community Enrichment has something for camp-goers and fun-lovers of all ages.

"The whole goal of Community Enrichment is to try to provide something for everyone in the community," said Enrichment Supervisor Ben Gerdeman. "That's one of the things we really pride ourselves on."

Camps run through Community Enrichment are many and varied, targeted toward all age levels, experience levels and interests, from infants to senior citizens in Lake Orion and surrounding communities.

For infants and preschool children, childcare is offered Monday through Friday for most age groups, as well as early childhood programs such as Friends, Fun and Sun, a program designed for babies to children aged five consisting of various summer activities and early childhood curriculum.

For preschool toddlers, available activities include sports, piano lessons and four Miss Margee classes which allows children to prepare for school or be involved in family activities.

Youth enrichment activities are far reaching, from dance, gymnastics, karate and archery to guitar lessons, musical theater and Princess Camp, a series of three classes for girls aged three to seven in which they become princesses through stories, crafts and activities that include making tiaras.

For the young aspiring athlete, there are also sports camps, some in partnership with high school varsity coaches. Sports camps include, but are not limited to: junior golf, yoga, tennis, lacrosse, and the more general

Speed, Agility and Quickness camp, designed to help all athletes improve linear, lateral and vertical movement. Ages allowed varies per camp, so check listings online or in the Community Enrichment class schedule for specific classes.

"One of my favorite quotes of all time is, 'Camp isn't for everyone, but everyone should have a place like camp,'" Gerdeman said.

By sheer numbers, the most popular camp offered through Community Enrichment is Camp Wanna Have Fun, a day camp for kindergarten through fifth grade children which last year drew in 270 different participants.

The camp runs from June to August with various theme weeks, including Animal Week, Science Adventure Week, Harry Potter week and more. Interested students can sign up for three days, four days, or five days throughout the summer, or sign up for one week or all ten weeks up front.

"This is the best camp in the world," said Enrichment Assistant Lori McGraw. "The smiles on the kids' faces, that's the best part of any of the camps."

Gerdeman, for his part, credits the success of the camps to a dedicated staff with great ideas. Made up of current Lake Orion teachers and college students, many of whom aim to teach at the elementary or middle school level, they form the camp family Community Enrichment seeks to create every year for the community members young and old who take part in their services.

"It's definitely a great place to be," Gerdeman said. "They're family oriented, it's a great bargain. We have great facilities, great people and Lake Orion's a great community."

For further information on classes, including adult classes and the all-new Camp ExplOrion for middle school students, call Lake Orion Enrichment Services at 248-693-5436, visit the Community Enrichment office in the CERC building for the Spring/Summer brochure.

To register, call the Enrichment Office, mail in a registration form, available at the back of the recent brochure, to the Community Educational Resource Center, or register online at http://rp.lakeorion.k12.mi.us/ after setting up a family account.

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