Paddle-powered summer |

Paddle-powered summer

John Morris attended camp every summer starting when he was 6 years old.”It was great!” Morris, now 28, said enthusiastically at the end of a camp day at Pioneer Park Wednesday, barely breaking a sweat despite the stifling heat.

Those happy memories, a master’s degree in education, intensive training as a camp counselor and an enjoyment of talking “to kids where they’re at” helped prepare Morris for leading the Nevada City program of summer camps, the second year the city has offered the program.

“School is so hard,” the Nevada Union High School graduate said. “These kids have to sit for hours. Camp is about them, their friendships, their interests. It’s about getting out and having a good time.”

Two dozen area children this week have paddled canoes, built forts, shot arrows, hiked through the woods and beaded necklaces with colors to remind them of virtues such as courtesy, respectfulness, safety, sportsmanship, environmental responsibility and being a good helper.

Their adventures included a day at Camp Watanda, 3 miles north of Nevada City on Lake Vera.

The program started with the city’s hiring of Dawn Zydonis as the parks and recreation director. The city partially supports the program, which charges parents $185 for a week of activities centered around themes such as pirates, sports, science and drama.

Space is still available for some camps, which run through Aug. 8. For more information, call Morris at 362-2056.

To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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