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All the kids in my house are counting down the days until school is out… that means we moms have to find things for them to do this summer to keep them busy and keep our sanity. There are many camp options available in town this summer, here are just a few. Please email me with any more camp information you have, and I will spread the word.
First, the Paris Community Theatre offers a wide variety of workshops and camps for kindergarten all the way through teens. For kindergarten through 2nd grade there is an Acting/Production Workshop running from 10am – noon June 20th-24th (cost is $60). For those children in grades 3rd – 5th there is also an Acting/Production Workshop June 20th-30th from 1pm-2:30pm (M-F cost is $100). An Acting/Production Workshop is also offered for grades 6th and up July 18th-28th (M-Th cost is $100) from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Next, also for grades 6th and up, there is a Set/Costume Design Workshop running for two weeks June 20-30 from 10am – noon (cost is $100). And June 27th-July8th PCT is offering a Puppetry workshop from 10am-noon for grades 6th and up (cost is $100). This summer the Theatre is also presenting three different yoga camp choices. Yoga for Kids (cost $40) will run July 11-13th with two different age groups. Those 5-8 years old will be from 9am-10:30am and for 9-11 years old the camp will be held from 11am-12:30pm. For the teenagers, Yoga for Teens (cost $40) is June 20th-24th from 4-5pm (M-F). To register for any of these camps, call the Paris Community Theatre Box Office Monday – Friday from 1pm-5pm at 903-784-0259.
Junior Golf Camp will be held at Paris Golf & Country Club. One session will be June 14-17 and another will be held July 12-15. Each session is from 9am-12pm each day. The cost is $100 per session and includes a camp t-shirt, cap, video of your child’s swing, and lunch on Friday.
A day camp that runs all summer is the Just Plane Kids camp at Texas Tumbling and Trampoline. Programmed for kids ages 4-12 this camp runs Monday-Friday 7:15am to 5:30pm with both full-time and part-time options available. This is a great camp for working moms and is designed to help kids expand their horizons by keeping them busy, stimulating their imagination, exercising their bodies, building friendships and most of all having fun. Activities include, but are not limited to, swimming, basketball, bowling, laser tag, rock climbing, crafts and tons of games, trampoline & foam pit fun. Enrollment fee is $55 for non- members and $50 for current members with a 1 week deposit. A full-time camper is $95 per week and part-time camper fees are $25 per day. Discounts for additional siblings are offered. Call 903-739-9140 to register.
Texas Tumbling also offers Teen Xtreme for ages 12-16. This is 8 awesome chaperoned field trips for teens. They include Kayaking, Six Flags, Ropes Course, Zip Lining, Rock Climbing, Bowling, Laser Tag, Hurricane Harbor, Horse Back Riding and more. The cost is $250, but you can pay in two installments of $125. Entry to each park is separate. Again call 903-739-4190 to register.
Another option, for the older kids, the Paris Junior College Dragons sports program hosts several Summer Sports Camps. This summer they are offering camps for both boys and girls in basketball and in girls’ volleyball. “We invite interested young people to take advantage of our coaching expertise,” said PJC Athletic Director Sean LeBeauf. “They will have a great time while staying busy learning and developing fundamentals at PJC’s sports camps.”
The Dragons Volleyball Camp will feature two sessions, according to Coach Justin Maness.
Camp for girls in grades 4-8 will meet from 8:30 a.m. to noon, June 6-9. Check-in and on-site registration will be held from 7 a.m. to 8a.m. The camp will offer instruction in court communication; passing basics; setting basics, serving, attacking footwork and arm swing; blocking; understanding match rotation and match play. Camp fee is $70 and each camper will receive a T-shirt.
The PJC Volleyball camp for those in grades 9-12 will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, Monday through Thursday, June 27-30, with sign-in between 8 to 9 a.m. It will offer the following game skills: volleyball communication; passing fundamentals; setting fundamentals; attacking footwork; attacking (standard and quick); blocking (communication, single/double); serving (spots and different types of serves); defense (rotational and perimeter); offense (quick, combos and tandems); volleyball conditioning exercises; and match play. Each camper in this session will receive a camp T-shirt and lunch. Camp fee is $90.
For more information on PJC Volleyball camps call 903-782-0218 or 903-782-0675 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PJC is also offering basketball camps. The Lady Dragons Basketball Camp will be held June 13-16 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for girls entering grades 6-11 this year. The fee is $50, with a $20 deposit that must accompany each registration form. Each camper will receive a free T-shirt. Campers should wear tennis shoes, socks, shorts and T-shirt. Camp sessions include stretching and footwork; station drills; daily contests and team games. Lady Dragons will be on hand to teach the fundamentals including footwork, dribbling, shooting and player positions. There will also be daily contests and team games. Contact Coach Sean LeBeauf at 903-782-0233, e-mail email@example.com, or call the Athletic Department at 903-782-0218.
The PJC Dragons All-American Basketball Camp will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 20-24. This camp is for boys in grades K-9 grade the past school year. The camp fee is $120. A $50 deposit must accompany each registration form. The balance is due during check-in. Each camper will need to dress in tennis shoes, white socks, shorts and T-shirts. Check-in time will be Monday, June 14, from 8:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. Each camper will receive a T-shirt. Camp sessions will include stretching and footwork; station drills; team games; daily contests and viewing a film after a hot lunch, as well as league games and daily awards.
For those interested in soccer, the Paris Soccer Camp is scheduled for boys and girls ages 5-18 June 20-24 at the Paris Soccer Fields. The camp is offered by Bobby Moffat, to register visit www.soccermoffat.com or call (972)649-7933 or (903) 249-5464.
North Lamar ISD is also hosting two sports camps. North Lamar Basketball Camp is June 7-10. The times and costs varies depending on age group. Call Don Hillyard at 903-737-2011. And the North Lamar Baseball Camp is June 14-17, times vary depending on age group. The cost for the camp is $35. Call Coach Fleming at 903-517-5335.
If you know of anymore camps, let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
From one Mommy to Another,
Jenny Wilson is a mother of three. She has story-time every Thursday at the Paris Public Library, teaches a Mommy & Me class at Central Presbyterian Day School, serves on the PCT Children’s Theatre Advisory Committee, the Aikin Parent Association Board, the Crockett Parent Association and is a Sunday school teacher at Holy Cross Episcopal Church. She also is a certified yoga instructor, Jazzercise instructor and marketing consultant.
Thursday, the Downtown Food Pantry will host an open house giving the community a tour of its new home on 24 W. Cherry. If you are reading this article on the internet, a food pantry may not have ever been part of your life, so why would you go to an open house for a food pantry? Because the new facility is a marvel of efficiency and demonstrates what a concerted effort can do to help our less fortunate brother and sisters in need.
Here’s a brief history: In 2009, an effort by the First United Methodist Church was put into place to help establish a downtown food pantry to feed those in need. They operated out of the small building between the Methodist Church and CVS across from the Post Office. They initial fed about 100 families a month and the facility was supported entirely by donations from within the church, to the tune of about $3,500 per month. By year end, they were feeding over 400 families per month and their facility was pushed to the max to meet the needs of our communities improverished. First Baptist Church, Church of the Holy Cross, First Christian Church, Chist Community Church and First Presbyterian Church have all stepped up to help meet the financial burden to feed this many families although First United Methodist Church still contributes 40-50% of the funds necessary to operate the facility.
Throughout 2010 the number of families being fed by the food pantry continued to grow, and it became apparent that there was no choice but to seek a bigger facility. At this point, the Legacy Foundation stepped in and bought the new facility for the Downtown Food Pantry to operated out of. And after $30,000 worth of repairs paid for by the Legacy Foundation and a $10,000 donation by First Federal, the pantry opened its doors at 24 W. Cherry where they now serve over 1,000 families per month.
So what exactly is a food pantry and who uses it? Let’s start with the who first and dispel some myths. Poverty is not prejudiced. The make up of Downtown Food Panty members (for lack of a better word), falls generally in line with our community makeup. 51% of the “members” are white; 41% are black and 8% are hispanic. How do we know? Because the Downtown Food Panty is operated with outstanding software geared toward military-like $3,000 or $4,000 dollars.”
Here’s how the Downtown Food Pantry operates. The pantry is open two days a week (Tuesday and Thursdays) for 3 hours. There is a roomy and comfortable seating area where everyone enters. They are greeted at the front desk by two of the 50 volunteers who help staff the food pantry. If the person has never been to the pantry before, they are taken to an area where they are interviewed to find out where they live, what their income level is and how many family members need to be fed. “We are not cops. We take what they tell us at face value,” say Kirkman. “If they are here in the first place, it’s because they need help, and we are going to help them.” After registration and in the future upon arrival, the person checks in and is given a “shopping list” telling them what they can get according to how many people are in thier household.
A shopping list is based on USDA balanced dietary guidelines. The list for a family of four looks something like this:
1 Carton Eggs
household and just pass out the boxes. Here, they are given dignity. It’s almost like shopping,” he beamed. Once they have selected their items they go to the check out area where volunteers help them bag their items and check them against the list of items they are given when they come in. Even the flow of the building is laid out efficiently so that when they get their items they are at the exit. The layout is allows easy flow to accomodate a large number of people in a very short amount of time.
“We have helped 70 families since you have been here,” noted Kirkman taking a quick glance at the real time tracking software Charity Tracker.
Kirkman’s wears his passion on his sleeve, and all of the volunteers seem to make such an effort to make these people feel digified. It make one wonder if that makes people want to continue to come to the Downtown Food Pantry for compassion and free food. The statistics, however tell an entirely different story. “Look at this,” Kirkman says pulling up real-time instant data on every person walking through the door. “Each family can only come here every other week. That means 26 times per year max.” He points at the graph to reveal that the vast majority of the families served (101 families) only came to the food pantry once. On the opposite end of the spectrum, only two family came all 26 times. This clearly showed that almost no one would be there if they didn’t have to. “The least we can do is treat them with dignity,” says Kirkman.
With 50 volunteers, four churches and a new facility, the Downtown Food Pantry is better positioned than ever to serve the community. “You can never have enough help. More food means more hungery people are finding us. We currently go through 20,000 pounds of food per month.” It takes organization to handle the receiving and distribution of that much food and the management of that many volunteers. And while the Downtown Food Panty appears to run like a well oiled machine, the reality is “we need more help and more money. We just don’t have enough.”
When asked who has been approached to help, Kirkman acknowledged that they are so completely swamped making sure they can keep these people fed and that they simply haven’t had time to seek the help they need. They are currently bringing in about $3,500 per month to feed 1,000 family, but the average cost to feed a family is about $5.35 so they are going to need to bring in more money. “We hope the open house will help show people what we do. And maybe they will want to get involved.”
Individuals, churches and other organizations, please help. This is such an important mission. Contact Art Snow to find out how you can help. email@example.com
All contributions should be directed to First United Methodist Church with a note in the memo line “food pantry”.
First United Methodist Church
322 Lamar Ave.
Paris, TX 75460
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