How Rec on the Go is bringing new fun to Centre County parks this summer

Rec on the Go gets kids outside this summer

Rec on the go, a mobile recreation program, aims to bring kids outside as it visits Centre County parks this summer.
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Rec on the go, a mobile recreation program, aims to bring kids outside as it visits Centre County parks this summer.

With Rec on the Go, there is no excuse to spend summer inside. Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority’s new mobile program aims to bring kids outside to have a season full of fun memories.

Recreation Supervisor Beth Lee attended a National Recreation and Park Association conference where she learned about Baton Rouge’s mobile recreation program. While the Baton Rouge program was created to bring games and activities to those impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Lee said she recognized a similar need in Centre County. Some families may not be able to afford summer camp, so Lee saw an opportunity to bring similar camp games and activities to kids in the area.

“There are plenty of kids here who possibly can’t afford camp, but also maybe stay home with parents for the summer, and that’s great, but maybe Mom or Dad would love for (their kids) to have some time at the playground outside playing,” Lee said.

Starting Monday, Rec on the Go will run from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday for nine weeks. The truck will host activities in five different parks: Woodycrest, Autumnwood, Penn Hills, Fasick and Orchard. Those interested can register for the program online. There is a $160 registration fee for residents and a $240 fee for non-residents.

“We have over 54 park areas,” Lee said. “And if we can bring this truck, with all the cool things that are going to be in it (and) all the recreation equipment, and really bring this program to folks in the parks, kids will feel comfortable. Parents will feel comfortable to walk their kid down the street and bring them to the park and let them be outside.”

Rec on the Go aims to bring kids together, something Lee remembers experiencing while growing up herself.

“I remember growing up and playing outside until the street lights came on,” Lee said. “Everyone knew how to play kick the can, spud and four square.”

By inviting kids to participate in the program, Lee hopes they will learn new games and meet new people who live in their neighborhoods.

Making the mobile recreation program a reality was a “community-wide effort,” Lee said, thanking the Parks and Recreation maintenance staff, Gavek Graphics and elected officials for their help.

The program activities are catered to kids ages 8 to 12. Because the program staff is unsure of participants’ interests, Lee said Rec on the Go will have something for everyone. Activities will include obstacle courses, games, arts and crafts, and exploring the outlying areas of the parks.

On Wednesday nights, Rec on the Go isn’t just for kids. Beginning June 26, families are invited to participate in free game nights. To find a full schedule and list of event locations, visit crpr.org.

“Bring your families, and play some games out in the park with everything that we have in the truck,” Lee said.