Chesterton Tribune

Sunset Hills Camp FUNset registration April 14

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Hundreds of kids came to Sunset Hill Farm County Park last summer to hike, play, work on arts and crafts, meet special guests, enjoy nature, and make new friends. Camp FUNset grew at a rapid rate--by the end of the summer, Porter County Parks and Recreation had more than doubled the number of campers from the previous year.

Camp FUNset Director Katie Rizer said she expects that growth to continue and she is excited that even more kids will have the opportunity to experience these dynamic day camps.

“We have added three new staff positions so that we can increase the number of campers each week,” Rizer said. “We expect to have more than 600 kids attend Camp FUNset this summer.”

Parents will have the chance to sign their children up for camp early, and get a discount in the process, during Camp FUNset Registration Day set for April 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at Sunset Hill Farm, 775 Meridian Road in Liberty Township; near the corner of Meridian and Rt. 6.

Parents and caregivers will receive $5 off every camp that is paid for in full during this event.

Rizer said Registration Day would ensure kids get into the camps that spark their interest, while giving them the chance to meet some of the camp staff. She said this year’s camp will build on the success of last year, while adding several new features.

“We are Camp FUNset, so the first thing kids should expect is to have fun,” Rizer said. “In 2012 we've added a dynamic new Challenge Course to the grounds at Camp FUNset and are targeting team building initiatives in our staff training as well as each of our weekly camps. This year we're focusing on self and stewardship.”

Each camp will offer team-building activities, nature hikes and activities, games, arts and crafts, songs, a closing ceremony and family open house. Some new features this year will be a low ropes course, archery at select camps and teams divided into age groups.

All camps, except the overnight campout, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The first week of Camp FUNset will be Leadership Camp from June 11-14. This camp will focus on team-building, self-esteem and trust. The following camp will be Dash, which is perfect for active kids who enjoy sports and playing outdoors.

Other camps include an outdoor survival camp (June 25-28) that teaches kids how to “rough it,” an overnight campout (June 29-30), a film camp (July 9-12) during which kids will make their very own flashmob music video, and an art camp.

The final camp, Explore, will take place from July 30-Aug. 2 and teach kids about nature and wildlife.

A mini-camp will also be offered during Fourth of July week, on July 2 and 3, which will include samples of what is featured at other camps throughout the summer.

Camp FUNset is open to kids entering first through seventh grades for the upcoming 2012-13 school year. The cost for each weeklong camp is $75, while the mini-camp costs $40 and the one-night campout is available for $35.

A new program called Leaders in Training Experience (LITE) is also available this year for kids ages 13 to 16. These teens will have the chance to work directly with Camp FUNset staff and assist counselors as they lead games, songs, hikes and adventure activities.

“So many of our young campers are learning what it takes to be a leader in school and in the community,” Rizer said. “Campers 'age out' at the end of middle school and we don't want to lose the momentum of personal growth before they come back to us as counselors. The LITE Program creates a great link between being a camper and joining the team as a camp counselor.”

For information on Camp FUNset, Registration Day or the LITE program, contact Rizer at 219-309-0680 or


About Porter County Parks and Recreation

The mission of the Porter County Parks and Recreation Board and Department is to preserve, protect and manage the natural, cultural and recreational resources within a diverse park system. For more information, call 219-465-3586, or e-mail

Camp FUNset offerings

Here is a look at the camps that will be offered at Camp FUNset this summer. All of them will be available for signups during Registration Day on April 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Road, Valparaiso. All camps cost $75, unless otherwise indicated.

Ready. . . Set. . . Lead! Leadership Camp--June 11-14

Campers will enjoy team-building activities that encourage self-esteem, leadership and trust. They will also be the first group to experience the park’s new Low Ropes Course.

Dash! Active Camp--June 18-21

Kids who are always on the move will love Dash! Campers will create a camp obstacle course to run on the last day, and participate in lots of other fun activities, like Tae Kwon Do.

Survive! Survivor Camp--June 25-28

Campers will learn all about surviving in the woods during this unique camp. Starting campfires, building shelters, using a compass Đ kids will discover how to “rough it” in the wilderness.

Campout! Overnight Campout--June 29-30 ($35)

Graduates of Survivor Camp will put their skills to the test at the Sunset Hill Farm Campground. Star-gazing, night hikes, a campfire, songs and s’mores will be a part of this overnight adventure.

Celebrate! Mini-Camp--July 2-3 ($40)

This two-day mini-camp is perfect for kids who want to try a little bit of everything Camp FUNset has to offer. Hikes, arts and crafts, team-building and intro to archery are included.

Action! Film Camp--July 9-12

Campers will learn to write, choreograph, film and edit their very own flashmob music video. Kids will also get to present a live performance to family and friends at the end of the week.

Pioneer! Pioneer Camp--July 16-19

Campers will go back in time to when kids worked on the farm, caring for animals, planting crops and creating their own games. The week will end with a wagon journey along the “Oregon Trail!”

Create! Art Camp--July 23-26

Tie-dye a camp T-shirt, create rain sticks, design a book about Sunset Hill Farm and use creative skills to paint one of the park’s wagons. This is always one of the most popular camps.

Explore! Explorer’s Camp-July 30-Aug. 2

Kids who love nature can become Junior Naturalists at Explore! Campers will dig into nature as they learn about the diverse wildlife that exists at Sunset Hill Farm.




Posted 4/9/2012