By Felix Cunningham
“When school is out, BREC is in,” said Cheryl Michelet, Director of Communications at BREC.
Children out of school for the summer with nothing to do are in luck—BREC has a special program for residents of East Baton Rouge Parish. The time for lounging in front of the television set, eating unhealthy meals, and playing video games is over.
Lester Roberts Summer Camp opened earlier this summer and runs through July 24. The camp caters to 55-60 kids a week, ranging from ages 6-12. This program puts less strain of their parents and also introduces social interaction with kids from around the parish.
Roberts Camp is one of BREC’s 41 summer camps, allowing parents to work and focus on the household needs while BREC gives their children a fun, safe environment for the summer.
The camp started with a dream—a coach’s dream. Lester Roberts’ dream first took over the brand in the early 1980s in hopes that some kids would gain knowledge of teamwork and discipline through sports. It started in downtown Baton Rouge when he saw sports greatness in children and wanted to continue the legacy to partner and maintain a healthy relationship with them.
“Roberts was right,” said Michelet. “The dream begins when they are kids, and talent is seen when you’re young. We want to take that first step and become a door for open opportunities.”
What started off as Roberts’ dream continues today when BREC picked up the brand and made it a continuing summer program. This camp focuses more on basketball and other sports activities like kickball, dodge ball, baseball and football.
Not only does the summer camp provide the children the opportunity to have fun, but also it stresses healthy and active lifestyles.
“We aren’t just teaching them a sport or skill but the importance of activity and competition, because competition helps build character,” Michelet explained. “We assist in teaching good life lessons because we want to be a positive influence for them.”
The children also have fun at BREC’s Liberty Lagoon Water Park as well extracurricular activities such as bowling, arts and crafts, a trip to A.W. Mumford Stadium at Southern University, and even fun at the park.
“We not only teach them to be active but we also keep them safe. It’s important for their future, and what’s a better way for them then to have fun?” said Michelet.
Fun is an understatement. By the joy and jubilance on the children’s faces, they seem to have a valuable time at summer camp. It revitalizes their spirits, minds, and bodies to do what they love or just to get out of the house. BREC is teaching children not to be couch cushions but to create a positive environment with fun.
The summer camp is $50 a week, which includes food and fun for EBR Parish residents only. Standard fees for other parishes increase a bit. For EBR residents, it totals $400 for the summer program.
“What me and the other employees here at BREC want to do is not for the parents to focus on funds but for the safety and growth of their child,” said Michelet.
For more information about BREC summer camps, visit www.brec.org.