“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy”. That’s how the Ira Gershwin lyrics go from the play “Porgy and Bess”. It certainly rings as true here in Northwest Ohio as it did in the play’s fictional South Carolina setting. Hot weather, long days, the fish are jumpin’ and . . . I guess instead of high cotton we have corn and beans.
And more than that we have a couple of things to be proud of here they did not have in that play. To help make the hot days more bearable we have the Van Wert YMCA’s Camp Clay Aqua Park. Located just West of town the Camp Clay Aqua Park is easily accessible to everyone. As part of the 5 acre lake at Camp Clay, the Aqua Park offers full days of cool refreshing swimming and playing in the water. The Shallow Beach means even the youngsters and kidlets can splash, frolic, and cavort with proper adult supervision. For the older kids there are gigantic blow-up rafts of all shapes and sizes for challenging games and interesting, engaging play. You just have to check it out in person and see all the fun activities. And it’s reasonably priced with daily passes for one-time use and season passes for individuals or families intending to make the Aqua Park a regular summer activity. Daily passes are available at Camp Clay during regular hours. Check at the YMCA on West Main Street for season passes. For more information check the website www.vwymca.org or call the ‘Y’ at 491-238-0443. Open Seven Days a Week, be sure to make Camp Clay Aqua Park part of your easy livin’ this summertime.
Head the other direction on East Main Street and you’ll come to the Van Wert YWCA. There you’ll find a variety of standout summertime programs for the whole family. One is for those who don’t find the livin’ quite so easy. It is the YWCA Summertime Food Program. The YWCA provides meals for children ages 3-18 over nine weeks and will even add new backpack meals for weekends. The food is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition with breakfast between 8:00 and 9:00 and lunch from Noon until 1:00. The Office of Child Nutrition qualifies an organization by looking at the nearest elementary school to see if more than 50 percent of students enrolled qualified for fee and reduced lunches. Franklin Elementary was the closest and met the mark by 4 percent. This means children do not have to qualify based on income to take part in the summer program, but rather any child can come and receive a free meal. A recreational program is offered along with the food for participating youth. The recreational events are sponsored by United Way of Van Wert County for 4-12 year olds and run from 7:00AM until 1:00. Good food and fun activities to make the livin’ a little easier for parents and children alike.
Maybe you won’t embrace it quite the way the characters did in “Porgy and Bess”, but be sure to get out and enjoy all the summer goodness we have to offer here in Van Wert County and Northwest Ohio.