Walla Walla parks to be full of summer activities

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Isaac Salazar fires a shot on a make-shift goal (a tree and a pole of an open tent) during activities at the city of Walla Walla's Park and Recreation's summer program.

WALLA WALLA - The summer games for youths have kicked off, and along with them come a few Brits playing Cricket, Rounders and British Bulldogs.

"We are doing it because we think the kids in the community will enjoy learning sports other than the normal U.S. sports," Parks and Recreation coordinator Angela Potts said.

British Sports Camp, which starts Monday, is just one of the new programs offered this summer by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The popular British Soccer Camp will also return in July.

A new Firearms Safety and Survival class, which is already filled, will take place at the Walla Walla High School air-gun shooting range.

Kids who are more inclined to the arts will also see some new programs.

Young thespians can practice their skills in the Acting Up With Shakespeare camp, taught by actors with the Seattle Shakespeare Theatre Company at the new Power House Theatre.

Another new program is being combined with an older staple for lunch and play.

Library in the Park will take activities and books to kids who participate in the UPlay lunch and recreation program.

UPlay is for children 7-12 and provides free activities and lunch from 10-3 p.m. Monday-Friday at four city parks.

This year, the library will be at the following UPlay parks from 11-1 p.m. on a rotating basis: Monday, Washington Park; Tuesday, Pioneer Park; Wednesday, Eastgate Lions Park; Thursday, Jefferson Park.

A number of Victorian-era activities, like weaving and ice-cream making, will be provided through a new Kirkman House Museum program.

Dancing also made the cut this summer.

The department is organizing two groups of jazz dance classes for kids ages 4-7 and 14-18.

While enrollment for the 4-7 age group is doing well, thanks to parents, Potts said the 14-18 group will most likely be canceled unless teens start registering.

One program that sank this summer was the kayaking school, which was canceled due to lack of registrants.

The All-Comers Track for August was also scratched, but the department will continue to hold the spring All-Comers Track Meet, Potts said.

The department is also trying out some of the programs that normally take place in the fall or spring; they include Track Camp and a number of art programs that take place at the Carnegie Center.

Finally, after years of seeing the Mariner's Road Trip canceled, the department has decided to strike this year's road trip to Safeco Field.

"If they aren't really winning, people don't just sign up for it," Potts said.

Ironically, the Mariners are winning this year.

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