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DL's summer recreation program crawling with kids this year

Kennedy Hegg, 7, creates a glitter card at the Detroit Lakes Rec Center Thursday morning. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)1 / 2
The summer rec program (headquartered in the stone building near the tennis courts across from City Park) is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.The program is free and will run through Aug. 14 this year. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)2 / 2

According to numbers, staff and organizers, the transition of the summer recreation program to the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center was a success.

"We were really excited to have it come over here," Program Director Brent Wolf said. "We're still really excited. Everything has gone really well this summer."

He said the DLCCC has seen "good numbers across the board" for baseball of all levels, swim lessons, tennis and those visiting the rec building itself Monday through Friday. There has been a lot of return staff at the rec building, he said, and everyone "is having a blast."

"According to the staff, it's just as popular, if not more, than it ever has been."

With headcounts being done throughout the day at the rec center, Wolf said the numbers are good with about 80 kids a day, with T-ball, crafts and dodgeball being the most popular activities. He said returning staff has said it's comparable to years in the past.

Although they don't have "hard numbers," from what they can tell, the programs all seem to have about the same number of attendees as the last few years.

"We're kind of wrapping up the sport end of things, except for the rec is about the main thing now after we get through August," he said.

The transition from the city funding the summer rec program and people signing up through the community recreation and education office changed when Mark Greenig retired earlier this year. The city then decided to partner with the DLCCC to take care of the program rather than funding another position to replace Greenig.

Wolf said the transition has gone smoothly, working with the city and the community ed staff.

"As far as the community goes, we think the offerings, as far as what was offered in the past and what's been offered this year, are about the same," he said.

"So, it was just a matter of making sure they knew where to go to register and that's always hardest the first year and then gets easier after that."

Wolf said with the shift in organizing, there were no programs added or subtracted this year. In fact, the T-ball program that was already run at the DLCCC grew because of its new tie-in with the baseball program.

"We're just very pleased with the whole thing and just being able to offer all those activities for kids still," he added.

"The staff has really enjoyed the extra traffic of people coming in registering and enjoying those programs. It was a good fit for everyone involved I think."