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That's especially true in the summer, when organizations offer myriad activities to entertain and teach young people.
Here are a few ideas:
Port Townsend Recreation Center
The Port Townsend Recreation Center, 620 Tyler St., offers sports and Zumba for youths of all ages as well as summer camps for 4- to 5-year-olds and 6- to 10-year-olds.
A five-day camp for those 4 and 5 years old will run from July 14-18.
The camp, which costs $80, is from 9 a.m. to noon each day and includes sport fundamentals, preschool fitness, art activities and outdoor play.
The next weekly camp for youngsters from 6 to 10 years old will begin July 7.
The camps — Art Camp, Kid Fit and Rec Adventure Camp — are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and cost $200 per week.
The center's regular summer hours are from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays.
For fees, schedules and other information, visit http://tinyurl.com/PDN-ptreccenter.
Northwest Maritime Center
At the Northwest Maritime Center at 431 Water St. in Port Townsend, youngsters can learn to feel at home on the sea through such programs as Messing Around with Boats, Youth Learn to Sail, Sea Scouts and the High School Sailing Team, as well as trips on the schooner Martha.
Youth scholarships are available.
For information about fees and schedules and to register, phone 360-385-3628, ext. 104; email email@example.com; or visit www.nwmaritime.org.
Port Townsend Marine Life Center
The Port Townsend Marine Life Center is a joint program with the Northwest Maritime Center for children 11 to 15 years old.
Young people can explore Port Townsend Bay aboard a 26-foot Thunderbird sailboat at the Marine Science Under Sail camp from 9 a.m. Aug. 9 to 4 p.m. Aug. 10.
The cost is $250, and registration is at www.nwmaritime.org.
Junior Explorers, Costal Explorers and Marine Biology camps are currently full, but parents can contact the marine life center to be placed on waiting lists for some.
Scholarships are available for those who qualify.
For more information, visit www.ptmsc.org, phone 360-385-5582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jefferson County YMCA
Classes and day camps abound at the Jefferson County YMCA, based in Port Townsend.
Among weekly classes are “Adventures in Leadership,” “Our Big Backyard” series, “Build Your Own Skateboard,” “Learn to Skateboard,” “Belly Dance,” “Ashoka,” “How to Play Pokemon,” Magic: The Gathering workshop and woodworking.
The cost and location and age restrictions for each class varies.
Themed, weekly day camps for children from 5-12, which began in June, continue with the exception of the Fourth of July through Aug. 29, offered from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Day camps are $185 per week for full-time or $100 per week for part-time camp.
One-day camp drop-ins are welcome. Rates are $50 per day or $25 for a half-day.
Scholarships are available for youths in need of financial assistance.
For more information about classes and camps and to register children, check with the YMCA offices at 1925 Blaine St., phone 360-385-5811 or visit www.jeffersoncountyymca.org.
Free meals and other kinds of enrichment are offered through the YMCA Summer Meals Program.
Meals are offered to youths up to the age of 18, Mondays through Fridays, through Aug. 22.
■ In Port Townsend, lunch is offered at noon and snacks at 3 p.m. at Mountain View Commons, 1925 Blaine St. Occasional enrichment programs will be offered during and after meals.
■ In Quilcene, lunch is offered at 12:30 p.m. and snacks at 3:30 p.m. in Room 16 at Quilcene School, 294715 U.S. Highway 101.
Quilcene children also can take part in free enrichment activities for youths 5-12.
The enrichment programs will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Aug. 22.
■ In Chimacum, snack is offered at 10 a.m. and lunch at noon at Chimacum Elementary School, 91 West Valley Road.
Chimacum children also can take part in Feed Your Brain, a free literacy and adventure program for youths age 5-12, held at the school from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays until Aug. 22.
A registration form is required for children taking part in enrichment programs.
The forms are available on the Jefferson County YMCA website.
Port Townsend Library
Programs at the Port Townsend Library, which is moving this summer from its temporary location at Mountain View Commons back to the Carnegie building at 1220 Lawrence St., include Read to Rover.
Read to Rover is held Thursdays, in which children practice their reading skills by reading to dogs to provide summer learning enrichment.
Times for Read to Rover will be determined.
Mountain View Children's Library is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays, as well as from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The Mountain View location will be closed July 14, with the library reopening at the Carnegie on Aug. 3.
A full schedule and list of programs for youths can be found at www.ptpubliclibrary.org.
Jefferson County Library
The Jefferson County Library summer reading program involves more than books.
It's also about getting out and doing things.
The theme of the program is “Spark a Reaction,” and it encourages activities such as science experiments, art — including “peepscapes” — volunteering and reading a book with “fire” in the title.
The youngsters who read the most books will get a to-be-announced prize to be presented at the Aug. 7 finale.
The library is located at 620 Cedar Ave. in Port Hadlock.
Each week, the library will hold workshops such as science with Thaddeus Jurczynski and art with Sidonie Wilson.
Programs include steampunk art and fiction writing.
For more information, visit http://www.jclibrary.info or phone 360-385-6544.