By MICHELLE SCHMIDT
We’re all for having fun and maintaining sanity, so 360 has rounded up a handful of local activities for kids and families to make the most of summertime schedules:
“Summer” and “camping” are synonymous terms for many in the region, and now you can enjoy it even if you don’t have all the gear.
Hells Gate State Park offers a Camping 101 program that loans basic equipment and teaches camping how-tos to help beginners get started. A park ranger will set you up with a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and sleeping pads, so you only have to bring sleeping bags, food, cookware and the site fee. And no worries; if you’ve never set up a tent or used a camp stove, the ranger will show you how. After that, the fun and exploration is up to you.
The Explore Your Parks Camping 101 program is sponsored by outdoor products company The North Face, which donated camping equipment to state parks all over the nation. This is the second year the program has been available at Hells Gate State Park.
Reservations are required for use of the equipment and are open to local and non-local users. To reserve a site and free rental, call Chris Thomas at (208) 799-5015.
if you go
Where: Hells Gate State Park, 5100 Hells Gate Road, Lewiston
Cost: Free equipment rental; $17.04/night standard camp site fee and $5/day vehicle fee
For Lego fans, if there’s one thing better than playing with Legos, it’s playing with more Legos alongside your friends. And that’s what happens at Moscow’s Lego Club.
Lego Club started last October at the Moscow Public Library and meets the first Saturday of the month. After kids arrive, the day’s theme is announced and then nearly an hour of building commences, with the final work displayed for the rest of the month.
“The theme is just there for inspiration,” said Jacki Fulwood, youth services manager. That means if you have your heart set building a robot, you can do so, even if the day’s theme is boats.
The Lego collection is comprised partly of sets donated by community members and some that were purchased with library funds. What looks like play is actually part of the library’s emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) development as kids learn to make the ideas in their head a reality.
“This is an opportunity to be creative, but also to gain experience with physics and engineering concepts in the real world,” Fulwood said.
Just don’t tell the kids they might be learning something, right?
if you go
When: 10:30 a.m. June 7 and July 5 (first Saturday of the month). No club in August.
Where: Moscow Public Library, 110 S. Jefferson St., Moscow
Ages: 7 through 18 years old; large wooden and Duplo blocks are available separately for younger ages
Of course, Lego Club isn’t the only thing happening this summer at the Moscow Library — or any of the others. Check out local summer reading programs, presentations and activities for free summertime fun and learning.
RTOP Summer Camps
For kids who dream of being in the spotlight, the Regional Theater of the Palouse summer camps are an opportunity to learn and perfect their skills.
With plenty of singing, dancing and acting, both newbies to the stage and seasoned performers can enjoy four days of instruction that culminates in a live performance on the fifth day. The first camp, Stepping Out Into the Spotlight, is an introductory camp designed especially for those who are new to theater. The subsequent camps follow various show song themes.
The classes are taught by longtime main-stage performers at the RTOP. Most students take either the morning or afternoon sessions, but they are different enough that some kids take both. No previous theater experience is required.
if you go
Where: RTOP Theater, 122 N. Grand Ave., Pullman
When: Monday-Friday, June 16-July 18. Morning session: 9 a.m. to noon; afternoon session: 1 to 4 p.m.
Stepping Out into the Spotlight — June 16-20
Wonderful World of Disney — June 23-27
Hollywood Glee Club — July 7-11
Broadway Show Review — July 14-18
Ages: 8 to 16 years; younger than 8 years by interview
Cost: $105/session, register at box office or call (509) 334-0750, register early to ensure camp and session selection.
The RTOP isn’t the only place kids can explore theater this summer; LCSC Kids College, Lewiston Civic Theatre and Lewiston Parks and Recreation are offering similar opportunities.
Schmidt can be contacted at email@example.com or at (208) 305-4578.