Although we're not quite into spring yet, it's not too soon to start thinking about summer day camps for your kids. The East Bay Regional Park District offers a lot of options, and the sooner you check them out, the more choices you will have.
The day camp season starts June 17. There are camps at regional parks in Berkeley, Oakland, Pleasanton, Antioch, Castro Valley and Fremont. Camps have aquatic, educational or recreational themes for kids ages 6 and older.
Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont offers camps for ages 5 and older. Generally the camps run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Age ranges and schedules vary by camp, and the fees vary depending on the length of time offered. The Regional Parks Foundation provides financial assistance for those who qualify.
Regional park rangers, naturalists, lifeguards and recreation leaders team up to help with the camps. Camp staffs are CPR and first aid qualified.
The park district also offers a "Leaders in Training" program for teens interested in becoming camp counselors.
For more information on day camping schedules and fees, visit the park district website at www.ebparks.org and look for the summer day camp logo on the right side of the home page. Or call 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757).
The park district also offers a variety of seasonal full-time and part-time jobs, including lifeguard and recreation leader positions. These are ideal for students and those who enjoy working in the outdoors.
And there are two training programs for student aides, who work year-round in the visitor centers or with the Public Safety Department.
For more information, contact the district's Human Resources Division, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland CA 94605, call 510-544-2154 or visit www.ebparks.org/jobs.
Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda offers programs about the natural history of San Francisco Bay. Located at 1252 McKay Ave., the center contains a large aquarium, the Old Wharf Classroom, and exhibits showcasing Crown Beach's colorful past.
From 11 to 11:30 a.m. every Sunday in March, it's story time for the kids, with characters like the Lorax and "Swimmy the Fish."
And there's a free Catch of the Day activity from 2 to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. On March 9 and 10, the topic is how to make a nature journal. After the program, the staff feeds the crabs, flounder, perch, pipefish and other aquarium fish from 3 to 3:30 p.m.
For more information on Crab Cove Visitor Center, call 510-544-3187.
Saturday Strolls are a series of easy-to-moderate, family friendly hikes led by park district naturalists. There's one from 10 a.m. to noon March 9, a three-miler starting at the Trudeau Training Center at 11500 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland. For more information, call 510-544-3187.
Ned MacKay writes about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.