By Kurt Madar
Pilot staff writer
Summer is here and school's out. It won't be long before parents hear the ages-old children's lament: "I'm bored."
Don't fret. There are plenty of summer activities in Brookings to keep children and adults busy.
"It's important to have summer recreation for kids, because these kids have nothing once school gets out and it's important for them to have a place to go," said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Tony Parrish.
Whether Bible camp, after school program or just visiting a state park, the Brookings area is awash in possibilities for summer fun in the sun.
While there are many organized summer activities for children and young adults, there are also state parks, beaches and the rivers that call out to be explored.
For the early riser, low tide offers a chance for everyone to enjoy the tide pools. An easy, fun outing can be had at any rocky beach during the first low tide of the day.
Bared rocks will reveal a colorful and physical outdoor experience. Enjoy the spooky green tentacles of anemone, the purple spines of sea urchins or lift a rock and watch the iridescent rock crab scuttle sideways in search of the next safe crevice. Always keep one eye on the waves, because the unwary tide pool explorer can be taken literally by surprise.
There is an organized tide pool walk offered by the Oregon State Parks Parks and Recreation Jr. Ranger Program. For more details see the list of organized programs, below.
If the first low tide is too early don't despair because the Wild Rivers Coast has plenty of water to swim in.
For a day trip, the Elk River, located less than 5 miles north of Port Orford, is a winding turquoise ribbon of warmer than average water that flows through a rocky canyon.
Not only is the river great for swimming, but the clear water is home to large numbers of newts.
With water temperatures reaching 74 degrees in August, the Chetco boasts a wide variety of swimming holes to enjoy, from the slow moving water of Social Security Bar, to the faster moving water at Alfred A. Loeb State Park, the Chetco's clean water provides many opportunities for spending time in the sun.
For the more adventurous there is a chance to explore the beaches around Pistol River from horseback. Hawk's Rest Ranch offers beach rides and can be reached to reserve a ride at (541) 247-6423.
For the musically inclined, Azalea Park has the American Music Series where every other Sunday until August, when it changes to every Sunday, there is an open air concert at the Azalea Park band-shell. The American Music Festival is a concert series that features both local and visiting talent. The concerts start at 1 p.m. and end around 4 p.m.
The Chetco Community Public Library will be offering a summer reading program, "Jurassic Journey," beginning June 16. The free program is based on the grade children are entering in the fall. Grades one through three meet from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and grades four through six meet from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Thursdays. "Jurassic Journey" runs through the first week in August. The program begins with a story, followed by a guest speaker, then a physical activity and ends with an arts and crafts project. For more information call Dori Blodgett at (541) 469-7738.
The Oregon State Parks offers Jr. Ranger Programs that focus on outdoor education. The programs all start at 10 a.m. on the day they're offered, and meet at the Jr. Ranger Yurt across from the Harris Beach State Park Campground amphitheater by campsite B-1. First-time Jr. Rangers should arrive 10 minutes early to register. The programs are free. To get a complete list of programs contact (541) 469-2021.
The Oregon State Parks also offers outdoor interpretive programs for adults. From birding walks to wildflowers there is something for everyone. The programs run from Memorial Day to Labor Day and are free. For more information or a complete list of programs being offered contact (541) 469-2021.
The Brookings public swimming pool opened June 5. Its summer schedule starts June 16 and includes a variety of activities for all ages. For a complete list of summer activities call (541) 469-4711.
First Baptist Community Church offers a program with the theme God's Big Backyard. The program runs from July 27-31 and includes crafts, snacks and games focused on learning how to help the community. Sign ups start July 6 and interested parties should call the office at (541) 469-2014.
Living Waters Foursquare Church offers a week-long evening vacation Bible school with activities, and teaching stories out of the Bible. The program runs from August 4-8 and starts at 6:30 p.m. It is for children ages 3 through those entering 7 grade. Sign-up starts in the last two weeks of July. For more information call (541) 469-5757.
Trinity Lutheran Church is offering a summer camp from July 14-18. For more information call (541) 469-2411.
Church of the Nazarene has a summer camp that runs June 23-27 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Register at Brookingsnaz.org.
Smith River Baptist Church offers its version of God's Big Backyard from July 7-11. To register call the church at (707) 487-5275.
Calvary Chapel of the Redwoods offers a summer program with a Hawaiian surf theme from July 21-25 from nine to noon. Sign up now by calling the church at (541) 487-0505.
Brookings Presbyterian Church is holding a power lab called Discovering Jesus' Miraculous Power. The program runs June 16-20 from 9 a.m. to noon for children from four to eleven. To sign up call the church at (541) 469-3725.