2011-06-09 / News

Recreation programs aplenty on island this summer

By Margo Sullivan

Islanders will have a choice of amusements this summer, according to Jill Goldstein, program supervisor with the Parks and Recreation Department.

The ever-popular free concerts kick off July 3 at Memorial Square. That’s a long-running series, with more than 20 years of success, Goldstein said.

If it’s Sunday evening, almost everyone brings a beach chair, lawn chair or blanket down to the harbor, to watch the boats sail by and hear the music.

For this summer’s lineup, more than a few big names, including Greg Abate and Atwater-Donnelly, are returning. Dead Blues Society and 5 Flavor Discount are the new acts.

Atwater-Donnelly opens the 2011 series at 6:30 p.m. on July 3. Lois Vaughn follows July 10. Garry Foisy performs July 17, with Black & White set for July 24; 5 Flavor Discount on July 31; Greg Abate on Aug. 7; Dead Blues Society on Aug. 14; and the Jamestown Community Band on Aug. 21.

All the concerts start at 6:30 p.m., except the finale: Vocalist Michelle Cruz and the community band will open at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.

For the last 23 years, businesses have helped sponsor the series, she said. Parks and Recreation organizes the sponsorships and asks for $150 contributions. It takes four to five sponsors to pay for a typical summer series band, she said.

And the music series is by no means all that’s happening.

“We have a ton of things going on,” said Goldstein, who called attention to a few new additions and improvements. Goldstein and Bill Piva, Parks and Recreation director, said they want to get the word out before the end of school, especially so parents will have time to review the options.

Jamestown, for example, will host a world sports summer camp. That’s in addition to the town’s regular camp, baseball camp, Save the Bay camps and British soccer camp.

Also new this summer, Jamestown native Aaron Cote will teach drumming. The workshop, for kids and adults, starts June 30.

The Jamestown Golf Course’s indoor exercise room, long a source of complaints, has undergone a renovation. The room has a new floor, new paint and new exercise equipment.

People weren’t happy with the old space, Piva said, but because the town is still debating the golf club’s future use, Parks and Recreation couldn’t undertake any major construction project.

“Little things made a world of difference,” Goldstein said. A little paint and a new floor “spruced up the place.” And swapping out the equipment also helped, Piva said.

“That equipment hadn’t been updated in well over five years,” he said. The exercise room now has new yoga mats, yoga blocks, Pilates’ mats and low-weight dumb bells.

Outdoor exercise classes at Beavertail run on a new schedule, with Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday classes available.

Baseball camp comes back from June 27 to July 1 but with a new coach. Eric Bush, a physical education teacher at Lawn Avenue School, will teach baseball camp for 5- to 12-year-olds, Piva said. Salve Regina University previously organized the camp, but logistical problems interfered this year. Bush has worked with Parks and Recreation before; he runs the basketball camp.

This summer’s biggest change, though, is the world sports camp, Goldstein said. The U.S. Sports Institute will hold a four-day multisports camp for 5- to 15-year-old youngsters. That camp, which starts July 11, brings professional athletes to Jamestown and features 15 sports played around the world, including some games like croquet, which the children may never have tried. An afternoon session for children ages 3 to 5 starts the little ones on soccer, lacrosse, T-ball, basketball and hockey.

“This was a good find,” Piva said. He credited Goldstein with doing the research and said the big plus was the number and diversity of sports this camp features.

The Jamestown Summer Camp for kindergarten through grade 6 runs through Aug. 19 at Fort Getty. Parents can enroll the children for a week or circle individual days. Fees for half day are $8. The options are ideal for working parents, she said, and for people who are home a few days a week. Although the town has cut down on field trips because of the cost to bus the children off the island, the campers are going to a PawSox Game. Other entertainment, like a magic act and a rocket demonstration, will come to them.

“People aren’t thinking in terms of summer camp yet,” Goldstein said, because school’s still in session, but she said that it’s coming quickly; camp starts June 27.

Some Parks and Recreation programs have started, or like women’s tennis, are about to begin, she said.

Details and fee information about all the programs is on the town’s Web site.

Parks and Recreation also has a page on Facebook, but sometimes people don’t know in time about the offerings, Goldstein said.

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