This month the Plymouth Park Board heard the request of Chuck Houin, District Chairman of the LaSalle Council to use River Park Square for their Day Camp program.
He told the park board the 4-day camp is for girls and boys in grades 1 through 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They would be setting up in the park on Monday, June 19th and camp would be Tuesday, June 20th through Friday, June 23rd. During the day the kids participate in a variety of activities like wood working, cooking, scout skills, sports, crafts, and fitness. Houin said they prefer to use the area closest to the river from the walking bridge to the kayak launch. He said they would have a flag raising and lower ceremony each day and would utilize the flagpole in the park.
The day camp is for the general public and they hope to have 80 to 100 kids participating this year. He said it’s not just about Boy Scouts although they will show the kids what the scouting program is. They will also learn about nature, talking about trees, poison ivy and sumac identification of trees, plant and flowers. There is a leadership segment with the program and they would like to like the kids use the splash pad.
Park Board President Dave Morrow said they conducted an administrative meeting and had some concerns. During the week River Park Square is busy on the lunch hour with people eating or just taking some time to relax. He suggested conducting the Day Camp in Centennial Park near the sledding hill.
Houin said they preferred downtown so they could “showcase” the program to the public. He also said River Park Square is more user friendly and easier to get to by walking, riding a bike or getting dropped off in a vehicle. Houin said they wouldn’t interfere with other patrons using the park.
Park Superintendent Mike Hite asked if there was a charge for the camp and Houin said yes, it’s $80 for the week and includes a t-shirt, all the supplies needed for the week and a patch. He said they don’t make any money off the kids. Houin said they also have campership available for kids who can’t afford the camp. Hite said if there is a charge the park typically receives 10% of the cost. Houin said he was thinking they could have FREE use of River Park Square since they are a non-profit.
Park Board member, Liz Richey suggested using the amphitheater which would allow them access to the river and they would have sole use of the restrooms, the kitchenette, parking area, water fountain and use of the grounds plus access to the Greenway Trail.
Houin said River Park Square offers lots of shade, the new pavilion, restrooms, picnic tables, room for games and recreation and a great location for the flag ceremonies.
The motion was made to allow the Boy Scouts to use River Park Square June 19th through the 23rd with the park department getting $8 for each child participating in the Day Camp program. Hite said the 10% fee helps to cover the additional work by the park department for trash removal, clean-up and maintenance.
The Plymouth Park Board unanimously approved the request.