Hot days mean wet fun for Hinsdale campers
Jack Thorington drinks water in the shade during snack time July 23 at Burns Field Park in Hinsdale. The counselors are incorporating water into activities to keep the kids from over heating. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:04AM
HINSDALE — It’s a good thing the village’s watering restrictions do not apply to summer camp participants.
Watering the children in the Hinsdale Parks and Recreation Department’s Tot Time and KinderKamp has been almost a necessity the past several weeks at Burns Field Park.
“We send them home soaking wet, said Recreation Supervisor Kurt Lindemann.
As the heat wave continued, Amanda Smurawski, camp coordinator, said she researched water games on the Internet.
What she learned was basically to introduce water into almost any camp activity. In the game of “tag,” instead of touching someone to make them “it,” the kids shoot squirt guns and the person hit with the stream of water becomes “it.”
In the game, Duck, duck, goose, a child taps the other children, who are sitting in a circle, on the shoulder as he walks around and says, “duck, duck,” and eventually “goose,” to make that child get up and chase him.
Tapping doesn’t cut it when it’s 90 degrees outside. So Smurawski modified the rules and gave the lead child a Dixie cup of water. As he walks around, he drips a little water on his playmate’s head as he says, “duck.” When he says “goose,” the child gets doused with the whole cup.
“The kids love it,” Smurawski said.
She bought additional supplies, including larger buckets, kitchen sponges, splash balls, spray bottles and even paintbrushes.
“Some of the kids like to paint the sidewalk with water,” Smurawski said. “You wouldn’t think it, but they do.”
Smurawski also reminds parents by email to send along an extra bottle of water and to slather the sunscreen on their children.
The heat does not seem to bother the campers, however.
“It’s an excuse for them to play with water,” said counselor Ian McKenzie, 19, of Hinsdale.
“I pour buckets of water over my head,” 6-year-old said Annie Mayer said. “When there are no buckets, I pour my water bottle on me.”
Parents don’t complain when their children come home with wet clothes, the counselors said.
“They like their kids to come home messy. It means they had fun,” Emily Johnson, 19, said.
The counselors get in the act, too.
“We were spraying everybody with hoses and filling their buckets, when the kids grab the hose and start spraying us,” Smurawski said.