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Keep Kids Busy During Spring Break!

images via ngould, BreAnn, and TheRehn via SXC

Looking for some activities to keep your kids entertained and active during Spring Break?  There are lots of options, whether you are looking to fill a few days or a week: 

1. Coach Doug Camp for Kids age 3-13
Enjoy the week with friends doing sports, games, arts, crafts, or an organized activity. Bring a lunch and everything else is covered! Camp is available at Potomac Community Recreation Center for the week of spring break, Monday through Friday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm. Extended day is available and younger kids have a half day option.  For more information see page 37 of the Spring Guide or contact Coach Doug at 301-983-2690.

2. Lifeguard Training for Teens and Adults age 15+
Spend the week preparing to become a lifeguard, which will help you secure a summer job! Recreation is offering American Red Cross lifeguarding and safety sessions during the week of MCPS spring break. There will be a pre-course check that requires participants to have the ability to swim 300 meters, among other prerequisites. For details see page 18 of the Spring Guide or call Aquatics at 240-777-6860.

3. Visit the Indoor Pools and Slides
Want to know a secret? We have palm trees…even in winter! It’s true – just step into the Germantown Indoor Swim Center and you’ll not only see lots of water to splash in, you’ll see palm trees, and tropical mountains to climb…then slide down! The temperature inside is a comfortable 80 degrees.  Step inside one of our indoor swim centers, relax in the hot tub, and play in the pool with the kids…it’s a great way to feel tropical while saving the airfare.

4. Picnic at a Playground on the other side of the County
Take a day during the break to visit the playground at a Community Recreation Center that you don’t normally visit. You may be surprised by what you find! You can see just a few of these playgrounds through various videos that we have shared in the past, including White Oak, Mid County, and Damascus Community Recreation Centers

5. Bring a basketball, football, or soccer ball to the field
Just as our Community Recreation Centers have playgrounds, they also have plenty of space to play ball. Shoot hoops or start a pick-up game of soccer or football with your classmates. You are guaranteed to have fun!

6. Practice riding a bike
Did your child get a new bike for the holidays? Spring break is a great week to take off those training wheels or learn to switch gears on a new bike! In last month’s RECord we highlighted some of the best recreation sites around the County for just this type of activity. (Five Great Locations to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike)

7. Take a virtual trip to Japan!
A fun way to start off spring break is to visit another country, right here in Montgomery County! Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center is hosting their annual Japan Fair on March 23 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Download the flyer for details.

8. Join us for an exciting one-day trip
Join us for an exciting family trip to Baltimore MD, Lancaster PA or Adventure Park! These are one-day trips and provide the perfect little getaway for one and all.  For details see page 93 of the Spring Guide or the article below in this issue of The RECord.

Softball Fields are Calling You Back! See What’s New…

Adult softball teams are forming for the spring season – check with your friends and co-workers to see who else wants to play! Registration deadline is March 22nd and you can choose to play in a variety of leagues including co-ed, men, women, and seniors (including seniors ages 55+, 60+ as well as day or evening for seniors).

We do not take individual registrations.  However, individuals can call 240-777-6870 and a recreation specialist will add you to the individual listing that team managers will use to fill teams.

If you are interested in registering a team, please visit the adult softball page on the Recreation website and download the flier for more detailed information on leagues, fields, and schedules.

Safety Updates
Team manager should check the updated Illegal Bat List to make sure your team is using bats that are approved for safety by the Amateur Softball Association. In addition to bat list changes, adult softball players should note that the base path distance will be moved to 70 feet (up from 65 feet) to follow the new national standards.
Open Recreation Softball Tournament April 20-21
We are offering a pre-season tournament to help adult softball teams warm up for the season.
All teams are invited to register for the Spring Fever Adult Softball Tournament whether you play with Montgomery County Recreation or a different league! Cost is $295 per team and the tournament will be played at Olney Manor Regional Park and Wheaton Regional Park. For more information about the tournament and to register download the Spring Fever flier.

NEW! Adapted Aquatics for Those with Disabilities and Special Needs

Image credit Wikimedia

The Montgomery Aquatics Program has added new learn-to-swim programs and water exercise classes that are designed to accommodate swimmers with special needs including physical, behavioral, sensory, cognitive, expressive or other language needs.

According to Charlie Butler, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, “We still offer therapeutic adult swim classes but the adapted aquatics classes are managed by the Aquatics program and are designed to accommodate participants based on their disability.  Also, there is a lower staff to student ratio”.

Adapted Aquatics classes are designed to encourage independence in the water as well as build water and swimming skills. We do need parent/caregiver assistance in getting the student changed and ready to enter the water promptly at the start of class. There is usually only one Special Needs changing room so you may need to come early!  Some classes require the parent/caregiver to enter the water and participate in class.

For more information see page 21 of the Spring Guide or contact Aquatics at 240-777-6860.

Lessons – Volunteer Assisted (Special Needs Ages 4-15)
Location: Kennedy-Shriver Aquatic Center
Various start dates and times
These learn-to-swim classes are taught in a small group environment and class size is limited to 8 students. An assigned volunteer is with each student at all times. An information and release form must be completed for all students at the first class. Participants are allowed to be registered for ONLY one class per session.

Lessons - Level 1  (Ages 7-13 with Physical and/or Developmental Disabilities)
Locations:  Germantown, MLK & Olney
Various start dates and times
This learn-to-swim program is for youth ages 7-13 with physical and/or developmental disabilities who do not currently meet the prerequisites for participating in an inclusive environment. The program is designed to develop basic swim skills in a structured setting under the guidance of an instructor with the support of a family member or caregiver in the water with the student.

Lessons - Level 1  (Ages 14 and Up with Physical and/or Developmental Disabilities)
Location: Kennedy-Shriver Aquatic Center
Various start dates and times
This is a learn-to-swim program for individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities. This success-oriented program targets individuals who do not currently meet the prerequisites for participating in an inclusive environment. The program is designed to develop basic swim skills in a structured setting under the guidance of an instructor with the support of a family member or caregiver in the water with the student.

Water Exercise Adaptive (Ages 14 and Up with Physical and/or Developmental Disabilities)
Locations: Germantown, Kennedy-Shriver and MLK
Various start dates and times
This is an exercise program for individuals with physical and/ or developmental disabilities that is conducted at a slow pace and in the shallow water. This course will allow the participant the opportunity to enjoy exercise in the water using balls and noodles to encourage movement and support. Emphasis is on fun and improving cardiovascular conditioning.

Enjoy a One-Day Family Trip During Spring Break

“WOW!” Sums up the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore (March 23)
Image credit Dan Meyers

If you have never been to the American Visionary Arts Museum (AVAM), now is the perfect time for this must-see.  First question you may have is, what is visionary art?
"Visionary art as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself."
Participants will take self-guided tours of the museum and enjoy lunch on their own either at the museum (Mr. Rain’s Fun House) or at a nearby eatery.  Fee of $49 per person includes transportation and museum admission. Trip #351521 leaves 9:00 am and returns 3:00 pm.

See “NOAH” at the Impressive Sights & Sounds Theatre in Lancaster, PA (March 26)
Image via Sights & Sounds Theatre

The story of Noah is brought to life in Lancaster, PA at the Sights & Sounds Theatre with 40-foot sets and a 300-foot stage that encircles the audience on three sides! You’ll witness hundreds of animals enter the great ark and you will be inspired by the music. The trip fee ($119) includes transportation, performance ticket, and lunch at Old Country Buffet before the show. Trip #351523 leave at 8:30 am and will return at 6:30 pm.

Adventure Park USA in Historic New Market, MD (April 1)
Nearby in Frederick County there is a park that is filled with opportunities for adventure including a miniature golf course, high ropes course, laser tag, go karts, rock wall and more! Plus there are tons of games and rides for little ones to explore. The entire family will have a blast! Fee of $59 covers transportation and a 4-hour adventure package. Meals and games are on your own. Trip #351522 leaves at 10:00 am and returns at 4:00 pm.