Ginny Glass knows the summers can get boring for local children, especially those with working parents.
Fortunately, she and her son, Bobby, can depend on the city of Steamboat Springs' summer camp program.
"It's very reasonably priced, the counselors are wonderful, and the kids can relate to people who aren't as old as their ancient parents," Glass said. "The kids are close, and they always have so many activities to do."
Glass isn't alone in her appreciation of the Adventure Bound in Steamboat Springs camp programs. A whole bunch of parents routinely show up at the Parks and Recreation building in the wee hours of the morning on summer camp registration days.
"We have stood in line at 4 o'clock in the morning for several years," Glass said.
She plans on it at the Howelsen Ice Arena early this year, too, when registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
But Glass and others will find a new registration process that has been revised to better meet the needs of families, said Parks and Recreation youth program coordinator Jennifer Travis.
The summer camp program is taking a cue from traditional child-care programs and giving priority to the families who register their children for the highest number of summer camp days. In past years, registration slots were determined solely on a first-come, first-served basis.
The change was recommended by a focus group of parents, community members and local educators.
"One of their main focuses was to make sure the families with needs were being served," Travis said. "We thought it was important for our working families to be served before some of our visiting families."
The summer camp program is open to all interested families who live in Routt County and beyond. But now a family who wants their child in camp all 59 available days will be given priority, for example, over a family who registers their child for 58 days. Families who request the same number of days will be enrolled into slots based on the order in which their registration was received.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the main lobby of Howelsen Ice Arena. At 10 a.m. Thursday, registration will move to the Parks and Recreation office on Howelsen Parkway. Registration ends at noon Friday. Faxed or mailed registration packets will be accepted after 8 a.m. Friday in the order in which they are opened.
Parents must bring registration packets with them when they sign up, and immunization records are needed for children who haven't participated in a Parks and Recreation program. Registration packets are available beginning today at the Parks and Recreation office or the Igloo.
To accommodate more campers for some of the summer's most popular activities, including trips to Stagecoach Reservoir and Steamboat Lake, the camp program is expanding the number of available slots on certain days from 24 to 32.
Daily cost for first-, second-, third- and fourth-grade campers is $26. The cost for fifth- and sixth-grade campers is $24 a day. The camps begin June 7 and run five days a week until Aug. 27.
The counselors-in-training camp program for seventh- and eighth-graders also is offered this year. Interested kids must commit to between 20 and 40 days to be considered.