LAKEMORE If you are looking for something to dash those summer, “I’m bored, I don’t have anything to do’s," why not sign the kiddos up for the Summer Fun program at Lakemore United Methodist Church?
This summer the Lakemore United Methodist Church is celebrating its 25th year of the popular Summer Fun program.
Linda Pitman, volunteer coordinator for the church, said the past 25 years the members of the congregation have put a focus on children through the program.
“Our goal, here at Lakemore United Methodist Church, is to make disciples of Jesus Christ," Pittman said. "We feel there is no better way to start than to begin with children.”
Twenty-five years ago, the volunteers and congregation started the program which could be considered an extension of the Vacation Bible School Program. The program has been offered mainly to the Springfield/Lakemore communities. The six-week, three day a week program is held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. providing summer activities to enrich the children’s lives and keep them safe and engaged providing productive fun and learning.
Summer Fun is free, with a small charge for some field trips. The cost of the program is covered by members of the church, local businesses and fundraising. Summer fun is for children ages kindergarten through sixth grade.
When needed, the fee has covered field trips throughout the years which have included food or some bus transportation.
Summer Fun is just that – fun. The kids have opportunities to do many fun things from playing games, craft projects, lunch and field trips. Those trips include golf lessons at Challenge Golf Course, miniature golf, a Gardening Experience with Grow Where You Are Planted, pizza parties, ice cream at New Baltimore, bowling, roller skating, Akron Rubber Ducks, Cleveland Indians game, the McKinley Museum, Laser Tag, Akron Zoo, Pump-It-Up and more.
Throughout the years the program has had 75 to 125 children registered with an average daily attendance of 65 to 85 children. Each child receives a Summer Fun T-shirt, a certificate and a bible.
The program runs for three days each week for six weeks. It is held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the weeks of June 18, June 25, July 16 and July 23. The week of July 1, Summer Fun will be held Monday, July 1, Tuesday July 2 and Wednesday July 3 with no Thursday program. The week of July 30 the program will be held the 30th, August 1 and 2 with no Wednesday program. At the end of the program a family carnival is held with food and activities for the entire family. The Summer Fun children then sing for the Sunday church service at the end of the fun program.
Director of the Summer Fun program is Meg Lee, the church’s pre-school director. Heather White, music director from SUPER Learning Center, will be working with the children in the area of music. Assisting for the program will be other adult and teen volunteers connected to the church. These volunteers make the program possible. The volunteers and the pastor for the church, Jeff Gindlesberger, have a real passion for building character in children in a Christian and fun-filled atmosphere.
“They have willing hearts to nurture children in the faith and teach them valuable lessons in life with love as the Super Heroes of the Bible (this year’s theme) once did with courage, faith and obedience (2 Timothy 1:7),” said Pitman.
It is the hope, said Pitman, that the children have a positive experience with church, not only the fun aspects, but the learning portion of the program will help them get fit with faith for their future endeavors and life challenges. “We hope our example and love for them will spill over into the choices they make for their future and the future of the church,” she said.
To volunteer with the program, contact Pitman at 330-733-6531.
The church is at 1536 Flickinger Road. For more information call the church at 330-733-6531. Space is limited and registration is open until May 31 or prior to the beginning of the program. Check to see if space is still available after the May 31 deadline by calling Pitman. Registration and emergency medical forms are available at the church Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.