The Parks & Recreation Department is well known for its summer sports clinics, but if you’re more into science than basketball or would love to make films rather than run laps, there’s a place for you, too. “We want to make sure every resident understands that there’s something for them,” says Director Jay Guelfi. “We’re trying our hardest to offer a program that suits every resident.”
One of the department’s newest offerings is a weeklong filmmaking program led by Filmmakers Collaborative. Parks & Rec also has added programs like Lego Adventures and Expert Architects. “When you think of Parks & Rec, you think of athletic activities,” says coordinator Colleen Allen, “but the pandemic pushed us to get really creative. We’re finding that there’s this whole group of people who don’t necessarily love playing sports, but they love these other things we’re offering.”
In addition to its arts and STEM classes, the department offers Little Hillers and Junior Hillers Playground Groups that run from July 5 to Aug. 12. Activities include arts and crafts, games, sports and trips to Sandy Beach and Water Wizz for the older kids.
Among the many sports programs the department offers, its basketball and track clinics, run by varsity coaches, are particularly popular. “It’s not an accident that our high school track and field and basketball programs are really successful,” Guelfi says, “because kids start playing when they’re 6 years old in a really fun environment like this.”
Parks & Rec programs often are more affordable than offerings in the private sector, Guelfi adds, and need-based scholarships are available to ensure accessibility.
At the end of the summer, Guelfi says, if kids had fun and made friends, then the department has achieved its goal.
As for the adults of Hopkinton, Parks & Rec hasn’t forgotten about their recreation needs either. The free Concerts on the Common series will return in July with seven bands performing through August. The department also will host movie nights and a farmer’s market, in addition to archery classes, adult softball leagues and pickup basketball and volleyball.
For more information, visit hopkintonrec.org or call 508-497-9750.
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