Summer camp comes to city's Central Park

In a vote that split on party lines, the Schenectady County Legislature established a licensed summer day camp called the Schenectady County City Outreach in Recreation and Education, targeted at what legislators are calling disenfranchised inner-city youth, at its meeting on Tuesday, May 13.

For $50 per week, children ages 8 to 12 can swim, take computer and horticulture classes and play tennis at the six-week camp hosted in Schenectady's Central Park.

The Legislature voted nine to four to go ahead with the pilot project that would also account for the hiring of up to six staff including a camp director.

Enrollment in the camp, which runs from Monday, July 7, to Friday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be on a first-come first-serve basis.

While several area not-for-profits offer similar programs, SCORE marks the first county summer camp and the first camp administered by the Schenectady County Youth Bureau.

Earlier this month in committee meetings, Edward Kosiur, director of the Youth Bureau said the program would have no real costs to the county because of revenues.

Minority Leader Robert Farley, R-Scotia, disagreed.

He said a summer camp program should not fall under the county's purview, but should rather be the business of the county's not-for-profit agencies like the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.

The commencement of another social services program that's not mandatory is really expanding our government, said Farley.

Earlier this month, Kosiur said that he'd spoke with several of the county's non-for-profits. At that time, he said that several of the programs were over-enrolled or wait listed.

But Christian Engle, vice president of operations for the Capital District YMCA, who attended the meeting and spoke during public privilege, said his organization was unaware of the proposed program until it appeared in a newspaper article in early May.

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