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HEALTHY HERD

May. 05, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- School is nearly out, and once again the Marshall University Recreation Center is hosting its annual Healthy Herd Youth Camps.

These week-long day camps will give children the opportunity to learn new indoor and outdoor games, make friends, and learn about developing a healthy lifestyle. The camps will be divided in two age groups: "Little Marcos" for children age 5 to 9 and "Future Herd" for ages 10 to 14. Registration for a week of camp is $110 for members and $135 for non-members. The deadline for early bird registration has been extended to May 8.

"This year we have identified that we have had enough kids in the past that have tried to register that we have decided to create two different camps each week," said Alex Boyer, assistant director of Intramurals and Youth Programs at the Rec Center. "It allows us to do more age appropriate activities and gives children an incentive to keep coming back year after year. We have different goals in mind for the kids. We want to introduce the older kids to more things. We have a great outdoor pursuits program that I don't think a lot of our youth have taken advantage of. I feel if we can introduce them to our younger generations, they'll take advantage of it when they become future Marshall students."

The camps offer different exercises based on a theme.

"With our campers we typically do a team building exercise from day to day based on the theme of the week," Boyer said. "We will then take a break, and we try to let them spend at least two or three days in the pool area. We are also trying to get the kids on the rock wall some, but we are trying to get the kids outside more this year. We are also trying to get the kids to think and do more brainstorming exercises than they have in the past."

The themed weeks for Little Marcos include Operation Splash Down, which will teach a variety of water-based games and Sandlot Week, which is based on backyard sports like Wiffleball and kickball. The Future Herd activities will include Canoe Training Camp and Sports All Around.

Children are asked to pack their own lunches, swimwear, sunscreen and a change of clothes.

"We have 20 active student employees," Boyer said. "Most have backgrounds in education, exercise science or sports management and marketing. They will all have to have experience working with children in a professional setting so it's a good opportunity for them. All of our staff must be certified in CPR and first aid."

For additional information on the Healthy Herd Youth Camps, including a full schedule of activities and online registration, go online at www.marshallcampusrec.com/youth-programs or call 304-696-4732.

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