Summer programs increase as daycare openings decrease

BISMARCK, N.D. - As daycare spots dwindle in Williston, the number of kids participating in the parks and recreation district's summer programs increases.

The Kids camp has 749 participants this summer, a jump of more than one hundred since last year, and there are still two months to sign up.

Parks and Recreation employees say a lot of parents are bringing their kids to a consecutive number of week-long camps instead of daycare this summer.

MacKenzie Blume, WPRD Director of Marketing & Special Events says: "Those numbers have really grown. It's nice to see that parents have an option to bring them to certified staff.”

Twelve to 14-year-olds also have the option to be campers in training. Blume says if they attend three kids camps, they can become certified in babysitting and CPR, giving the community more options for child-care.

“Our community is a safe place, but this is somewhere if their parents are concerned, they can send them to camp. It's not only somewhere safe for them to go, but they're also learning things as a young adult," said Blume.

Children's summer sports have seen a boost in attendance as well. One hundred sixty four more adolescents are part of the baseball, tennis, softball, golf and traveling soccer programs. And something new for all ages from the Parks and Recreation district is paddleboard rentals at Spring Lake Park.