No lines, no priorities, no problem.
After several changes to its registration process in recent years, the city of Steamboat Springs' summer youth camp program has implemented a new system designed to accommodate all families who sign up for camp.
"The philosophy behind it is kind of like 'leave no child behind,'" said Susan Petersen, recreation supervisor for the city's Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department. "We want to meet the needs of the community."
In past years, parents had to wait in long lines to register their children for summer camp programs, and even then, there were no guarantees that families would have all their requests filled. Last year, the camp program used a registration process that gave priority to the families who signed up their children for the most summer camp days.
But this year, the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department has devised a registration process that aims to please everyone who signs up by May 13.
Instead of limiting the number of children who can participate in camp programs each day, the new process allows all families to get the camp days they want by matching staffing needs to camp demand.
"We're just going to look at what the numbers are like and staff accordingly," Petersen said.
Registration is under way and will continue through May 13. Families who register after May 13 will have their requests filled based on availability. Those who register before May 13 should have all their requests granted.
"No matter how many families sign up between now and May 13, we're pledging to have spots for everybody," said Jennifer Travis, youth program coordinator for the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department.
The camp program is geared for children entering the first through eighth grades. Rising first- and second-graders are part of the Incredible Steamboat Sneakers group; rising third- and fourth-graders are part of the Steamboat Explorers Club; rising fifth- and sixth-graders are part of the Rocky Mountain Adventure Club and rising seventh- and eighth-graders can participate in the Counselors in Training program. Summer camp programs cost $26 per day for children in the Incredible Steamboat Sneakers and Steamboat Explorers Club groups and $25 per day for the Rocky Mountain Adventure Club group. Children who want to be part of the Counselors in Training program must pay $150 and commit to working between 20 and 40 days of summer camp.
Summer camp activities include arts and crafts, sports and other offerings. Some of the more popular activities include visiting the wave pool in Craig, camping and rafting. Between 100 and 125 children participate in the summer camp program each year. All children are welcome to participate, including children vacationing in the area with their families.
Registration forms are available at the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services De--partment's main office on Howelsen Parkway or at the Igloo. Completed forms must be turned in, mailed or faxed to the main office. The summer camp activities calendar will be available no later than April 28.
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