Uncle Sam says, “I want you to dance this summer!”

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In my humble opinion, summer camp is the most quintessential parks and recreation program. Think about…field trips, sunscreen, silly games, and friendships all embody the memory-filled park and recreation experience. This summer, as a part of Park and Recreation Month, NRPA is offering an awesome summer camp initiative every PA municipality should take part in…the National Summer Camp Dance!

NRPA’s National Summer Camp Dance is a completely turn-key activity meant to gather up summer camp programs across the nation in a collective effort. Program goals are simple: give the kids something fun to do, prepare staff to deliver the dance, and, very sneakily, promote youth health and wellness as the campers get up and shake their tail feathers! The Dance reaches a raucous crescendo on Friday, July 27th, where all camps are encouraged to dance at 10am – as we “dance across the nation!”

So how do you go about signing up for NRPA’s National Summer Camp Dance?

1) Visit https://www.nrpa.org/events/july/ and sign up to get updates!

2) You’ll be sent the official song, “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves along with the sweet dance moves via Youtube by May 15th.

3) Practice the dance with your staff at training – then make it an element of your camp program! Have fun with it – let the kids be creative with their moves!

4) Videotape your final performance on July 27th and send to NRPA!

5) The end of summer National Summer Camp Dance video will feature campers from across the nation!

Now for the REAL reason, your camp should join NRPA’s National Summer Camp Dance…it started right here in Pennsylvania! In 2015, East Goshen and Upper Dublin Township’s piloted this dance alongside two other departments in Virginia and Maryland, just to see if something like this was possible. The result – it was a smash hit! The kids loved it, the staff loved it, and camp administrators used it as a way to encourage that mysterious beast known as “camp staff camaraderie” during training! We pitched the idea to NRPA last year and here we are!

The goal for 2018 is 200 camp programs and 20,000 campers all shaking their tail feathers together on July 27th. We already have programs from Texas, California and of course, Pennsylvania jumping on board! This summer, get up and get moving – join NRPA’s National Summer Camp Dance!

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Author: Jason Lang

Director of Parks and Recreation East Goshen Township

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