It's not too early to plan for summer fun

Spring may now be here, but not before long will come the lazy days of summer. However, to prevent those summer days from becoming too lazy, local towns are planning recreation programs to keep youth moving. Countywide, sign-ups are already under way for softball and baseball. Boys and girls ages 7-16 can compete against other towns at three different levels grasshopper for 7- to 9-year-olds; peewee for 10- 12-year-olds; and pony for 13- to 16-year-olds. According to Chris Trombley, Clinton County Youth Bureau recreation director, the free program is a great way to learn basic skills and good sportsmanship. Last year, more than 1,800 youths from 20 different municipalities participated. Its basically an instructional program, Trombley explained of the noncompetitive league. Its for the kids to learn [and] for the umpires to learn. Peewees will start off the season June 10, with the pony league closing out the season July 24. Bi-weekly games are held on local fields throughout the county. For the youngest future sluggers, many towns, including Altona, Mooers and Chazy, also offer T-ball for f4- to 6-year-olds. Its good to get them out and away from video games, explained Alfie LaDue, youth commissioner for the town of Mooers. That and I think its good to get them communicating with other kids, keep them active. Of course, during the dog days of summer, sometimes a refreshing dip is just what is in order. Unfortunately, scheduled maintenance at Northeastern Clinton Central School has curtailed the swimming programs in many Northern Tier towns. But, the town of Altona will have a lifeguard on duty in Feinberg Park for dips in the Great Chazy River. Free facilities will also be available in parks countywide playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts and walking and running trails. If organized sports arent your particular cup of tea, there are still opportunities for more cerebral pursuits. Mooers is also offering an arts and crafts session for 4- to 15--year-olds. Although details are still being worked out, LaDue believes the session will include eight meetings over a month-long period. Local libraries will also host summer reading programs. This year, most libraries in the region will be following New York State Library themes Catch the Reading Bug for children and Metamorphosis @ Your Library for teens. For more information or to sign up for youth recreation opportunities, residents should call their respective town halls. Contact your local library for more information on summer reading programs and other library events.

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