For more than 35 years, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Recreation Department has held a summer program for Community youth, which was first called Recreation Education (Rec-Ed). Rec-Ed was created by two students who attended Scottsdale Community College who wanted to give the kids of Salt River an exciting summer. Over the last seven years, Rec-Ed has changed its name to Summer Day Camp.
Day Camp consists of eight permanent staff: Teresa Masayesva, Sera Gould, Diedre Goodluck, Kevin Riding-In, Erin Abrahamson, Jamie Escorcia, Dashia Enos and Ephraim Sloan. Five additional staff are brought in temporarily, for the summer, and there are also six WIA teen staff. Summer Day Camp offers two sessions each summer and operates Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This summer’s first session of Day Camp was held June 15 to 30. The kids enjoyed many fun activities and field trips to the Arizona Science Center, AZ Air Time in Scottsdale, Makutu’s Island in Chandler, the Ak-Chin Entertainment Center and Skateland.
The first day began with staff and camper introductions and “getting to know you.” We welcomed a special guest, Steve Saffron, to open the Day Camp. Saffron gave the kids a presentation on how powerful it is to complete school and continue their higher education in college. He demonstrated how wonderful and special each individual is. We also had ice-breakers for the kids, both in groups and individually. Saffron had three speakers from the SRPMIC come and speak with the children.
The kids were surprised with two special guests, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla and the Phoenix Mercury mascot, Scorch. Both mascots were the highlight of an eventful afternoon of fun and games. As excitement filled the room, the kids enjoyed playing games like “dash for cash” (with play money) and “how many balls make it through the hoop.” Last but not least, they joined Gorilla and Scorch for a dance called the cha-cha slide.
Summer Day Camp has introduced some new special-interest classes directed by our own Recreation staff for the kids that share their interests: Chess Club, Cake Decorating, News Flashers/Newsletter Club, S.T.E.M Class, Dance and Culture Class, Healthy Cooking Class and Sports Club. Each of the eight permanent staff are responsible to research and teach their class. Classes are held two days out of the week from 9 to 11 a.m.
An exciting new highlight of the camp is the talent show, called “Salt River’s Got Talent!” This is an opportunity for campers to share their talents and for the special-interest classes to highlight what they’ve learned. Our students and staff showcased their talents, playing instruments; performing dances, plays or skits; presenting volcanoes; and singing.
Salt River Recreation Department would like to thank President Delbert Ray, Vice-President Martin Harvier and assistant community managers Kent Andrews and Lena Jackson for coming to show their support for our talent show. Also, thank you to all the parents who were able to come and show their support for not only their own children, but the others as well.
Session Two of the Day Camp started on July 11 and runs through July 28. Our next talent show will be on Wednesday, July 28.
For more information or questions, contact the Salt River Recreation Department at (480) 362-6360.