It’s that time of year that most school children look forward to: putting away the school supplies and enjoying the summer season. But with the hot days comes leisure time, and some students don’t know quite how to segue into having more time on their hands. Going to the pool or taking a long bike ride fills just a small portion of their nearly 3-month reprieve from school.
For those wanting suggestions of things they can do at home or close to it, here are some ideas for consideration.
The Greene County Department of Recreation features “Cache Me If You Can,” a geocaching game designed to showcase eight recreational sites across the county. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game using global positioning system (GPS) software and GPS-enabled devices, such as smart phones.
Prizes or other items of interest are hidden at specific sets of GPS coordinates, and participants are challenged to find each geocache.
The eight county recreation sites are Mon View Park, Wana B Park, Greene River Trail, Greene Cove Trail Head, Old Crucible Mine Site, Greene County Airport, Greene County Tennis Courts, Greene County Fairgrounds and Alpha Aquatic Center.
For a full brochure of GPS coordinates and clues, call the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323, or visit the county’s website.
Kevin Willis, chemistry teacher at Carmichaels High School submitted some other interesting ideas on how to better to enjoy summer vacation.
First off he suggests getting outdoors and enjoying the opportunities to experience nature right here in the county, whether it be hiking, biking, kayaking camping, archery or canoeing.
There’s hiking or biking along the Greene River Trail, a 5.2 mile-long former rail line that starts at the Greene Cove Marina near Millsboro and runs south to the Rices Landing Boat Club. A recent 2.2 mile expansion extends further south to the Jessop Boat Club in Carmichaels.
“One of my favorite summertime experiences was to pack a picnic basket and enjoy it sitting on a rock in the middle of Meadow Run,” he said. “As to camping, you can do that in your own back yard. That way you’re still outdoors but don’t have to go far.”
Willis also suggests visiting museums and destinations such as the Greene County Historical Society Museum, the Children’s Museum and Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Fort Necessity, Friendship Hill and hiking the Warrior Trail.
“You can also check out the local libraries which have a lot of summer programs and something for kids almost every day,” Willis said. “Not only are they free of charge but some also have incentives at the end like trips to a Wild Things baseball game or Idlewild Park.”
And speaking of amusement parks, Willis said there’s nothing better than a visit to Kennywood or a water park.
“They are a little pricey, but they offer adventurous summer experiences,” he said. “Also consider the county’s festivals like the Jacktown Fair, the King Coal Festival, the Covered Bridge or Strawberry Festivals. And enjoy an evening or two at a Drive-In.”
The county also maintains two tennis courts and two pickle ball courts near the historical society museum on Rolling Meadow Road near Waynesburg. The USA Pickleball Association defines pickleball as a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. The game is played with doubles or singles, indoors or outdoors, on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net. Players use a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.
Flashlight drags, the popular street-legal car and truck races return this summer along the Greene County Airport runway. The format is heads-up, meaning that both vehicles leave the starting line at the same time. The name of the event refers back to the early days of drag racing, when a flashlight was used to signal the start. This summer’s flashlight drags are scheduled for Sunday, June 16 and July 7. On both days the gates open at noon and the races are from 2 to 6 p.m.
Lastly, you might want to consider a summer day camp. Greene County children ages 5 to 15 are able to enjoy free activities this summer when the county Summer Day Camp program launches on June 17. The camp will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, through July 26th.
Pre-registration for Day Camp will be from noon to 3 p.m., Friday, June 14th, at all camp locations: Lions Club Park in Waynesburg, Mon View Park in Greensboro, Wana B Park in Carmichaels and Ryerson Station State Park in Wind Ridge. Registration can also be made at any time during the six- week session.
For more information on the summer Day Camp program, call the Department of Recreation at 724-852-5323, or visit website at www.co.greene.pa.us.