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Sue Bush
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Adams Summer Parks Program Director Natasha Skowronski

By Jen Thomas
05:39PM / Monday, June 18, 2007

Natasha Skowronski is the Adams Parks Summer Program Director.[Photo by Jen Thomas]
Adams – Town Parks Summer Programs Director Natasha Skowronski has a real passion for working with children and making sure they have the resources they need to succeed. Skowronski's hiring for the seasonal position was announced during a June 13 Selectmen's meeting.

As a part-time volunteer gymnastics coach, budding math teacher, and now, the parks department’s day camp director, Skowronski has dedicated her life to working to improve the next generation.

"Working with children is such a rewarding experience," she said. "It’s worth all the effort you put into it and I just love watching them grow and succeed."

The 21-year old town native graduated from Springfield College this spring, receiving an elementary and middle school education certification and majoring in math and computer technology major. She has plans to teach fifth and sixtth grade students at Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington starting in the fall.

"For now, I want to stay in the area," said Skowronski. "I grew up here; I like it here."

Before embarking on a teaching career, she’ll begin her summer job heading the day camp for town children between ages 5 and 11. Skowronski's camp duties include planning daily activities, trips and events.

The summer camp season extends from July 9 – August 17.

"I’ve already done some planning and I want every week to have a theme," said Skowronski.

One theme will introduce "Season Week," during which each day will have an activity focused on a specific season. For winter, for example, the kids could take an ice skating trip and for spring, Skowronski proposed an Easter egg hunt.

Skowronski said she will make additional plans for camp sessions after she meets the entire staff, which consists of four college-aged counselors. Their input is important, she said.

"I want everyone to have a say in what we do this summer," she said. "Everyone has something to bring to the program, and I want to know everyone’s ideas."

With five years of counseling experience behind her, Skowronski understands the responsibility it takes to deal with up to 50 children a day and she’s eager to take on a new role.

"I have much more responsibility now," she said. "Before I just dealt with the campers, but now I act as the mediator between the town and the camp. If anything comes up, I have to deal with it."

Though the new job comes with a host of new responsibilities including paperwork and preparation, Skowronski said she most looks forward to working with the campers.

"When the kids start coming to the camp, they don’t know each other and they just cling to the few they do know, but by the end, they’ve made friends. I like to see kids have fun and stay out of trouble," Skowronski said.

The summer camp, held at Russell Field during past years, is promoted as a safe place for town youth to participate in free, fun activities and make new friends.

In addition to the traditional camp games like kickball, dodgeball, scavenger hunts, and arts and crafts, Skowronski and the parks department staff hope to take at least one weekly "field trip" to a Berkshire destination. Past trips have included swimming at Onota Lake in Pittsfield and Windsor Lake in North Adams, mini-golf trips, and ice cream treat treks.

"It’s a great opportunity for kids to get the summer camp experience. Having the camp right here in town gives them something to do," said Skowronski.

The camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. Skowronski said she hopes operations will move to Renfrew Field once repairs at the park are complete.

Jen Thomas may be reached via e-mail at jthomas@iberkshires.com or at 413-663-3384 ext. 23.
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