Recreation Comm. pleased with programming growth

Aug 8, 2018 by

Published in the August 8, 2018 edition


LYNNFIELD — The number of children participating in Lynnfield Recreation programs continues to grow, Recreation Director Julie Mallett said at a recent Recreation Commission meeting.

Mallett informed the Villager that 1,710 children have registered for Lynnfield Recreation programs from the end of June to July 31. She said 1,200 children have registered for day trips, 346 registered for either Recreation Station or Recreation Junior, 93 have registered for sports programs and 71 have signed up for events/classes.

“We have a lot of programs going on,” said Mallett.

Mallett said there have been “waitlists” for a number of day trips. During a recent trip to Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Mallett noted there were staff members who agreed to drive to the beach in order to accommodate more children who were looking to attend.

“When we used to go to the beach, we had five kids,” said Mallett. “Now we have 38.”

There have been a number of day trips this year including trips to New York City, New England Patriots Hall of Fame, Basketball Hall of Fame, Patriots Training Camp, Tree Top Adventures, Cape Cod Inflatable Park, Coco Keys, Canobie Lake Park, SkyVenture, Newburyport and Water Wizz.

RECREATION STATION concluded for the summer on Aug. 3. The camp was enjoyed immensely by, from left, Connor Driscoll, Brendan Driscoll, Mike Stellato, Sean Bridges and Andre Padovani. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

In response to a question from Recreation Commission member Matt Monkiewicz, Mallett said there are between four or five trips offered each week.

“Generally, we are taking 45 to 50 kids,” said Mallett.

Recreation Commission member Terri Farrell said the day trips are a great way for children to enjoy a variety of activities during the summer.

“I think the flexibility allows people to make a last minute decision that can allow children to have a great experience,” said Farrell.

Mallett said children and staff members have been getting along well this summer.

“The kids love the staff and the staff love the kids,” said Mallett. “That is why the kids keep coming back.”

In addition to the day trips, Recreation Station and Recreation Junior, Mallett noted the department has started a coed recreational basketball league. The league takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. She said Recreation Commission member Bob Relihan has served as a referee during games.

“It’s going well,” said Mallett.

Mallett also said Lynnfield Recreation has launched a Gaga Ball program. Gaga Ball is a game that is similar to dodgeball, but is played in an enclosed pit.

Mallett said Lynnfield Recreation will be “going strong right until the end” of summer. The day trips end on Aug. 22.

Relihan said he’s pleased Lynnfield Recreation has continued to expand to its programming.

“When I started, I was dropping my son off at Glen Meadow Park when he was five and there was just as many staff there as there were kids,” said Relihan. “If there were 20 or 30 kids there, it was a lot. What has happened in the last five years has been incredible.”

Recreation Commission Chairman Rich Sjoberg agreed.

“There have been people who don’t know I am involved with Rec who have said their kids have had a great time at Rec,” said Sjoberg. “It’s because Julie does a great job.”

Mallett said Main Street has been “crazy at drop off and pick up” due to the amount of children enrolled in Lynnfield Recreation’s programs.

“It’s like a middle school drop off,” added Sjoberg.

Mallett said she has begun planning for fall programming. She said there will be trips on early release days and there will be Friday night trips once a month.

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