Summer Camps in Pottstown-from art to science and everything in between

If you have kids, you know that the “I’m bored” can start as early as the first week of summer vacation, but you don’t have to get out of town to find something fun, interesting and maybe even (gasp) educational for the elementary school set to do this summer.  There are camps right here in Pottstown that offer art, drama, science and sports.  Here are some highlights:

Tri-County Performing Arts Center

Village Productions is offering 3 sessions of camp, each running 2 weeks for kids in 1st grade through high school.  Learn acting, voice and dance at our local theater and get the chance to audition for Willy Wonka Junior which will be performed by camp participants in August.  The sessions are July 11-22; July 25-August 5; and August 8-19. 

9am – 4pm for 5th – 12th Grades

9am – 4pm for 1st – 4th Grades

Half-day camp option for 1st through 4th Grades

9am – noon or 1pm – 4pm

There are scholarships available and you can check the Tri-Pac website for more information about the camps and financial aid. 

The Gallery on High

The School at the Gallery on High definitely does not take the summer off; in fact there are tons of opportunities for both kids and adults to get their hands dirty with clay, learn to sew and explore the arts.  With classes starting and running throughout the summer,  it’s easy to fit in a class or two for your kids, even when you have vacations planned or they start sports practices. 

For the 4-7 set, there’s the Story Sculpting class, which gives kids the opportunity to make art inspired by favorite books like the Berenstein Bears.  For older kids, the Native American Life Skills pottery class sounds amazing.  Students will actually find clay in Riverfront Park and use it to make pottery in the same way that Native Americans once did. 

You can check out all their class offerings and get more information about membership by checking out their website:  Gallery On High.

Sports Camps

If sports are more your kids’ thing, there’s no shortage of choices right here in Pottstown. 

  • The Tennis Farm offers weekly camps throughout the summer at the Hill School.   
  • The 422 Sportsplex has camps for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, cheerleading and more. 
  • Pottsgrove Soccer Club is hosting several different camps for kids in all grades and at all ability levels this summer, and you don’t have to be a Pottsgrove resident to sign up for camps or for the soccer program there in the fall. 

Science

Montgomery County Community College is offering a great opportunity for kids ages 8-16, called Kids on Campus.  This 10 week STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program offers CSI, Lego Robotics, Computer Animation and more.  For more information and pricing, contact MontCo at 610-718-1861 or check out their website for details. 

History

Pottsgrove Manor Historic Site is giving kids a chance to see what it would have been like to live like the Potts Family.  This week long camp is for kids in grades 4 through 6 who love history and would like to spend their days living in the 18th century.  The program runs July 11-15th and you can find registration information on Pottsgrove Manor’s website.  

Of course, there’s always the pool, the parks and just hanging around at home-which can be a great way to reconnect with your kids and give them some downtime in the summer.

 

Peter Pan, Garden Tours and more in Pottstown this weekend

Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure continues at the Tri-County Peforming Arts Center! It runs Thursday through Sundays up until June 19. TriPAc is located at 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. This is a new version of Peter Pan and TriPaC is hosting the U. S. Premier. NY critics will be here to check it out. You’ll want to see it first, before it moves to Broadway! Go to TrIPAC.org to order tickets online. Prices are always discounted for students and seniors.

The Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstars will be at Tornetta’s  washing cars and raising money on Saturday from 9-1!  Stop by and get your car washed and help our hometown girls get their track! 

 Pottsgrove Manor is holding a special program this Sunday June 12 at 1:00pm In the lecture and demonstration, “Vinegar: When Good Alcohol Goes Bad,” Pottsgrove Manor’s historic site supervisor will talk about the many different types of vinegar, how they were made, and the ways in which they were used in 18th century households. Different types of vinegar will be on display, as well as colonial foods made with vinegar. Pottsgrover Manor, home of John Potts, colonial ironmaster and founder of Pottstown, is located at 100 W. King Street near the intersection of King and Route 100. A donation of $2 per person is suggested. Go to their website at http://historicsites.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor

 This is the final weekend for The Pottstown Art Show, presented by the Pottstown Area Artists Guild and The Hill School Center for the Arts. The show is be at the Hill’s Boyer Gallery until June 12. See the Artists Guild website at www. Paag.info for more details.

The Pottstown Area Garden Club’s annual Garden Tour is this Saturday, June 11th beginning at 10am.  Gardeners in Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Limerick and the surrounding areas will open their gardens up to the public.  Tickets are available at Gwendolynn’s Salon and Spa in Limerick and the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce. 

 

Not a garden club photo-just my own climbing roses

The friends of Edgewood Cemetery are hosting a volunteer day to get some work done at this historic site.  Come out and help with landscaping, cleaning up and more.  Visit their facebook page for more info. 

 

Keeping cool in the pool in Pottstown this summer

Even though the calendar says it’s still early June, the thermometer is pushing up toward and beyond the temperatures we normally see in August.  If you’ve already got a pool membership, then you know the crowds look like midsummer too.  Other years at the pool, the only brave souls to enter the water this early were the swim team kids and then they would often have to bundle up after getting out of the water, but not this year. 

As part of our Summer Guide to fun in Pottstown, we are going to start with the area pools, so you can dive right into keeping cool this year. 

Private Pool Clubs

When I was a kid, we belonged to “the pool.”  My mom packed our lunches, wrapping sandwiches and soda cans in tin foil to keep them cooler and made me wear zinc oxide on my (very Irish) nose.  We spent long days at the pool, and my dad would come after work in his suit, change his clothes and swim with us till it was dark. 

Our family now has a similar routine, though my husband doesn’t have to wear a suit to work.  The memories I had as a kid at the pool, I am passing along to my own kids, and I am glad for it-even if I don’t wrap anything in tin foil. 

Here’s the rundown of what’s available in Pottstown:

North End Swimming Club

901 North Adams Street

North End has been a Pottstown staple for families since 1960 and it’s been my own family’s summer hangout for several years.  It’s the quintessential pool club and has a great family atmosphere.  With a large main pool that offers both a diving board and a slide, plus a baby pool, it’s big enough that it rarely feels crowded, but small enough that the kids can run around and play and still be in sight. 

Memberships are available.  Bond: $400  Family dues:  $340 

splashing down the slide at North End

Hillside Aquatic Club

134 West Moyer Road

Hillside Aquatic, tucked away off Gilbertsville Road on West Moyer Road, offers families a large pool with diving board and a baby pool, as well as a pavilion and basketball courts.  It’s also got that old fashioned pool club feel.  If you were a pool kid growing up, you will get that same feeling at Hillside. 

Memberships are available.  Application fee :$200 Family dues: $395

Laurelwood Swim Club

801 Union Avenue, North Coventry

Another option for Pottstown families, and one that is especially popular with those in the 19465 zip code is Laurelwood Swim Club.  With the Laurel Locks farm in the background, this pool club has a rural feel to it, even though it’s almost steps from the Coventry Mall (which could be a real bonus if you like to shop, too). 

Memberships are available.  Bond:  $500 Family Dues: $425 

This year, Laurelwood is also offering a trial membership for one year-pay just the dues and no bond. 

YMCA

If you’ve got a membership to just the Pottstown Y, you can upgrade to get one that includes all the pools attached to the Freedom Valley YMCA conglomerate.  That will give you the Baker Park pool in Phoenixville, the gigantic water park-type pool at Spring Valley and the pool in Pennsburg.  Check out their website or stop in at the Pottstown branch for more information. 

Public Pools

If going to the pool everyday isn’t your idea of summer fun, then it’s worth it to check out these local pools that allow day visitors. 

Boyertown Community Pool

The centerpiece of Boyertown Community Park, the pool offers recreation for residents of the borough and beyond. Membership information and rates for visiting the pool are available from the Boyertown YMCA.  You can reach them at 610-369-9622

Hickory Park Pool

New Hanover Township purchased the Hickory Park campground back in 2009 and wasted no time converting the acreage into a family fun destination.  With a great playground, plenty of picnic space and a pool, this is  a great place to spend the day (day passes to the pool run $5 for adults and $4 for kids) or sign up for season passes at an affordable rate of just over $200.  For more information, visit the New Hanover Township Website

West Pottsgove Township is also keeping busy, working to modernize and open the old Colonial Swim Club.  Keep an eye on their website for opening dates and rates for both residents of the township and visitors. 

Of course, if it’s just a quick cool down you are looking for, don’t forget about the Fountain of Youth spray park in Memorial Park along Manatawny Road.  There are sprinklers in all shapes and sizes and you can drop in for a quick shower, or pack a lunch and explore the park before or after you get wet. 

There are plenty of stay-cool ideas in town this summer-be sure to check them out!

The Milkman serves up light lunches and pretty cakes

There’s a new “OPEN” sign on the corner of North Charlotte and Oak Streets in the north end of town, and it’s worth stopping in for lunch to check it out. 

The Milkman Lunch Company opened quietly this spring, but they are gearing up for their grand opening  and are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm serving a variety of fresh sandwiches and, oh yeah-the CUPCAKES are delicious! 

Owner Chris Longeway Milkman Lunch Company

The business started out as primarily a bakery, offering wedding and birthday cakes, along with cupcakes in assorted flavors and then owner Chris Longeway and Pastry Chef Sam Rhame decided to open a luncheonette on the sunny corner in the north end.  The shop has a nostalgic vibe and with sandwiches priced at just $5, you can’t go wrong with a lunch from the Milkman. 

They offer simple, but delicious fare, and they make it easy to have your sandwich your own way-the menu is actually an order form.  You can build your lunch from the ground up-starting with an assortment of breads, then meat or tuna and add something expected like tomato or get a little gourmet with grilled asparagus or kalamata olive tapenade. 

Stop in this week and keep an eye out for their grand opening.  Longeway was also spotted this weekend at the Tri-Pac’s opening of Peter Pan, cupcakes in tow. 

Here’s the lowdown:

The Milkman Lunch Company

451 North Charlotte Street

484-300-4488 (call for cake appointments) or email chris@milkmanlunch.comcastbiz.net

Serving lunch Monday to Friday, 9-2

Grand Opening coming soon!

Pottstown Relay for Life 2011

Relay for Life 2011 is all cleaned up by now and plans are underway already for next year’s event (though I hope the planners take at least a few days to revel in their success).  It was a beautiful day, both for the weather and for the spirit evident in walkers, teams and visitor. 

Here are just a few scenes from the day:

Teams enter the track at Pottsgrove High School

 

Pottstown Roller Derby Team walks for relay
remembering why we walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thousands of luminaries light the night

 

Pottstown Relay for Life 2011

Well, the whole town is looking purple this weekend and it’s for a great cause.  The Pottstown Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society gets underway in just about 24 hours and continues for another 24 hours-from 10 am Saturday to 10am Sunday. 

This year’s event, held at Pottsgrove High School, has over 2,000 registered participants who are raising money (over $400,00 so far) for the American Cancer Society.  126 teams are signed up and will walk the track continuously from tomorrow morning, into the night and finally ending on Sunday morning. 

The Mercury has posted a great calendar of events going on both on the track and in the tents this weekend, but here are some of the highlights:

  • The opening ceremonies are set to begin at 10am and the hour finishes up with cancer survivors taking the first lap around the track to begin the relay. 
  • The main tent will be the spot for fun activities throughout the day, and there are movies at night for people who are signed up to walk the night shift.  Included in these are Zumba, karate, a cake contest and Yoga with Barbara Kosciewicz from High Street Yoga. 
  • Luminaries will be for sale all day and then lit from 8-9pm to line the track with light. 

Individual teams will be selling food and relay items as well as running games in their tents so there is plenty to do and you don’t have to be signed up on a team to come out and enjoy this inspiring and emotional fundraising event.  If you would like to register to walk, you can check in at the main tent on Saturday.  Only registered walkers and volunteers will be allowed in the track area overnight and kids must be with an adult during that time. 

Relay tent at Paint the Town Purple

Pottstown’s Relay for Life has been the #1 Relay in Pennsylvania for the last 2 years and ranks 5th in the world.  This event is what our community is about-everyone working together for a good cause.  All the small efforts of individuals combine with larger sponsors getting invested in Relay means great results for the American Cancer Society and for Pottstown. 

Check out the new Pottstown Relay Perspective blog for more stories of hope and inspiration and make plans to bring the family over to the high school to help raise money to cure cancer. 

 

Ride the Nation meets Trilogy Park BMX-the Warrens are here!

After logging over 1700 miles since April, the Warren family made a grand entrance into Pottstown today.  They stopped at the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center where there was a bit of a media frenzy (at least by small town standards) and I got the chance to meet this amazing family and hear a bit about their adventure so far. 

If biking is contagious, then this family is definitely spreading the bug.  Tammy, mother of the BMX rider and author of the Ride the Nation blog, seems more like the kind of person you would sit and have coffee with than someone who just rode over a thousand miles in a month.  And, I think that’s just one part of the appeal of this family. 

In fact, one of the goals they set for themselves before heading out on this trip was to inspire the occasional biker to ride more often.  They seem to be having so much fun and have so much enthusiasm for the whole endeavor that I am sure they are far exceeding that goal along the way. 

The Warrens led the way, with Borough Manager Jason Bobst, employees from Pottstown Parks and Recreation Department and BMX racers following them to Memorial Park where all the fun will take place this weekend. 

You can follow the family’s progress as they keep riding till Memorial Day on their blog and you can get more information about our hometown BMX track at www.trilogypark.org

BMX Family Rides the Nation

The Memorial Classic, Pottstown’s annual BMX race, is scheduled for this weekend, but it started over a month ago for the Warren family of Tampa, FL.  This adventurous threesome, consisting of a 12 year old BMX rider and her parents, have already logged over 1500 miles since leaving their home in late April. 

The Warrens aren’t super star athletes; if anything they are almost the opposite, calling themselves “two fat forty somethings.”  But what they are is determined, and it’s easy to get caught up in their enthusiasm reading the blog they are keeping about the journey, the BMX races, and life in general.  They lovingly refer to their daughter as “the beast,” which seems fitting since this family is logging over 50 miles on their bikes most days. 

Their goals for the trip, which is scheduled to continue through the summer as they ride through the BMX circuit and end at The Grand National Championship in Louisville, KY on Labor Day weekend. 

You can follow the Warren family’s progress yourself on their blog, ride the nation, and you can even follow them in nearly real time on Google. 

They are scheduled to arrive here in Pottstown on Thursday afternoon, sometime between 2 and 3pm at the Pottstown Hospital and they will be here for the Memorial Day Weekend festivities at Trilogy Park.

Hungry?? Head over to MCCC for Taste of the Town on Saturday

Breast cancer gets a lot of press, and deservedly so.  This disease strikes mothers, daughters, sisters, friends.  I can say that it has hit close to home for me this last year as a dear friend is in the fight of her life against breast cancer.

What might not get as much attention are the families of the women engaged in this battle, but Prayers and Poinsettias has their well being in mind.  This local non-profit, founded and headed by Mary Beatty of Barto, PA, provides scholarship funds to students at Montgomery County Community College whose mothers have or have had breast cancer.

This weekend you can help the cause, raise money to help a student at MontCo and sample food from some of the area’s best restaurants.  The Taste of the Town event is scheduled for Saturday, May 21st from  1-4pm at the North Hall Art Gallery of MCCC.

For just a $20 donation, you can sample food from the following restaurants:

Java’s Brewin of Limerick and Pottstown Hospital

www.javasbrewin.homestead.com or find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/javasbrewin

This coffee shop has been around since 2007 in Limerick and more recently in the lobby of the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center.  Their light food, delicious muffins and welcoming atmosphere are the result of team effort at this family owned business.

Ice House Deli

A Pottstown staple both for their food and community involvement, Ice House Deli serves pizza, steaks and more in their downtown location.  Their name is very fitting because the building they occupy actually used to be an ice house!

www.icehousedelivers.com

Rita’s of the Shops at Coventry Square

Be cool-eat a Rita’s!  (okay that song is now stuck in your head, sorry) at the Rita’s of Coventry Square.

Rita’s website

Dave’s Rib Shack

www.davestakoutribshack.com

Located in what looks like an ice cream stand, Dave’s Rib Shack serves up pulled pork, brisket and of course, ribs.  They open at 8 am everyday and have fresh breakfast items!

Raw Can Roll of Douglassville

Beyond the clever pun they use for their name, Raw Can Roll  serves up some amazing vegan, gluten free, raw foods with plenty of flavor.  They have a cute little cafe in Douglassville and also offer smoothies.  Their menu changes with the fresh foods in season and includes salsas, hummus and other fresh choices.

www.rawcanrollcafe.com

Positively Pasta

If you attended last night’s Positively!Pottstown Happy Hour, you got a sampling of the delicious food from Postively Pasta.  This High Street restaurant serves much more than pasta, with great breakfast, lunches and dinner.

Bause Landry Catering

Another hometown Business, Bause Landry offers full service catering for all kinds of occasions.  Their cakes are absolutely heavenly as well.  If you visit their website, you will definitely get hungry, but you can also check out a video of one of their events!

www.bauselandry.com

Also at Taste of the Town, there will be a silent auction to help raise additional funds for scholarships.

Even if you can’t make it to Taste of the Town this Saturday, be on the lookout for Prayers and Poinsettias around Christmas time when they will again be selling poinsettias to benefit the organization’s mission of providing scholarships and support to the children of women with breast cancer.

Additionally, I would encourage everyone to show their support to these businesses and others who consistently give of their time and their profits to help our community.  The next time you are at a local business, thank them for their generosity and their commitment to Pottstown.

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