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Marsh column: Keeping kids active through summer

By Ester Marsh
For the Salisbury Post
Q. With school almost out how can I keep my child active through the summer?
A. Can you believe that tomorrow is the last day of school? The school years fly by. Next year, I will have a freshman and sophomore at West Rowan High School and a third-grader at Hurley Elementary School. Where does the time go? I wonder if the summer will fly by, too!
Between my three children, I have one child who will only move for cheerleading and two others who move on their own óthey play basketball and badminton, ride horses, help with gardening, etc.
So the only thing that makes my cheerleader move is cheerleading (she tumbles, stunts, dances, conditions and much more), so with her, she has to be part of a cheerleading team for her to stay active.
Fortunately, while with the great cheerleading program at the YMCA in her younger years, she made the senior team at Stars Cheerleading here in Salisbury. She is having advanced tumbling clinics, dance and stunt clinics and camps scheduled for later this summer.
My middle child, who is a soccer player and horse lover (she owns her own horse), is going to work at Equisport (a Paint breeding farm and training facility also here in Salisbury). Between cleaning stables, filling and cleaning water troughs grooming and horseback riding, she’ll get plenty of exercise.
My youngest LOVES sports and will be attending our YMCA camp, where he will go swimming, play sports, scale the climbing wall, use the new Xrkade (8 years and up), dance and, of course, do Zumba! He will definitely get enough exercise and activity through the summer.
But you know what? It takes planning! You cannot just expect your child to be active ó especially the ones who tend to gravitate to the TV, computer, Game Boy, etc.
Being a full-time working mom, it’s best for me to have them in scheduled activities through the summer. I love to go swimming with them and play games with them like badminton or horseshoes.
But if I would not schedule camps, volunteer opportunities and competitive sports, I believe any child will get lazy.
So between the great camps out there ó The YMCA, Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department, Piedmont Players, Waterworks, Rowan Museum, Catawba sport camps, just to name a few ó you can also take them to the pool, Dan Nicholas Park and Rowan Public Library (great summer programs!), to keep them active and involved.
What the teacher does during the school year (THANK YOU, TEACHERS!) is our job through the summer, whether we plan it or actually do it.
Keep our children’s bodies, spirit and mind challenged and balanced
I think I am ready!
Ester Marsh is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@rowanymca.com.

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