Dozens of youth enjoy Brooke Hills summer day camp

SUMMER FUN — Participants in the Brooke Hills Park Summer Youth Camp were stuffed with pancakes and real maple syrup and ready to play on Thursday. Officials say they usually hold the camp twice each summer for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. -- Amy Neeley

WELLSBURG — What do you get when you add real maple syrup to a group of 35 children from kindergarten to fourth grade?

A whole lot of fun.

The children were taking part in the Brooke Hills Summer Youth Day Camp activities, held Thursday at Brooke Hills Park.

Camp Director Joelle DeVore said they try to hold the camp at least two times a summer. On average she said she has between 15 and 45 children a day. On Thursday, they had 35.

DeVore said each day the kids do a craft or have a speaker before being let loose to play games, go to the park and eventually swim in the pool.

“We do crafts, the park and swimming,” she said. “We also have demonstrations like the maple syrup, and the monarch butterfly lady was here (Wednesday).”

On Thursday, Fred and Cathy Hervey; and their grandson, Grady Farris, from the Family Roots Farm on Hervey Lane, came to camp to teach the campers how to make maple syrup.

After the demonstration the campers got to have a pancake breakfast with real maple syrup provided by the farm.

As part of the demonstration, the campers had the opportunity to make representations of the maple seed helicopter out of paper.

“They really enjoyed it,” Cathy Hervey said. “They loved the paper helicopters that fly like the seeds.”

Ashlyn McDougan, age 7, said she enjoys going to camp.

“I like that we go to the pool and the park,” she said.

Kaylee Ripley, 6, agreed.

“It’s good,” she said. “I like going swimming.”

DeVore said the camp allows no electronics — it’s just about having fun outside.

“It gets kids out of the house,” she said. “It gets them up and outside, playing.”