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Fort Kent kids say goodbye to summer rec season with Fun Day Jamboree

FORT KENT, Maine — A sure sign that summer vacation will soon come to a close and children will grab their backpacks and hop onto school bus seats came on Friday, Aug. 2, when the Fort Kent Recreation and Parks Department summer recreation program celebrated its end-of-season Fun Day Jamboree.

The program saw 283 children enroll this summer, including 136 who signed up for swimming lessons, many of whom also took part in the rec program.

These numbers represent the typical enrollment in the program, according to Fort Kent Parks and Rec Director Ann Beaulieu, who said that the summer was a successful one.

“It was fantastic, extremely well-attended. A lot of friendships were made. A lot of new families in town got to make friends,” Beaulieu said.

Beaulieu said that although summer fun is a large part of the program, children who participate benefit in many ways.

“There was a lot of socialization and many new skills introduced. Some kids experienced things they have never, ever done before. The program also provides character development and role models in our staff here,” she said.

The six-week-long Fort Kent summer rec program included 54 different activities for children ages 3-14 and employed a total of 30 people. 

Among the employees was Maddie Saucier, 17, of Fort Kent.

This was Saucier’s fourth year working for the rec program. She is planning to study secondary education after high-school, and said that she used to attend the rec program herself as a youngster so is familiar with the benefits of the program for children. 

“They get to work with each other and build friendships they probably never would have thought of at school,” Saucier said. 

This summer Saucier guided the kids through basketball, arts and crafts, dinosaurs, and the popular Survivor Challenge activity. 

Gregory Ouellette, 11, of Fort Kent, who has been participating in the summer rec program since he was a little boy, said Survivor Challenge was definitely his favorite activity this year. 

“I liked Survivor; we ran around all the time and were able to work on something together as a team,” he said. 

Ouellette also participated in arts and crafts, board games, dodgeball, and mini sports this year.

Josh Curtis, a fourth-grader entering Fort Kent Elementary School, completed his second year in the summer rec program on Friday. He participated in board games, kickball, science, arts and crafts, Survivor Challenge and mini sports, but his favorite activity was kickball.

“We all got to take turns kicking the ball,” he said. 

Amarrii Weaver, 12, has also participated in the program for two years.

“I joined rec because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t have anything else to do,” she said.

Weaver participated in soccer, basketball, tennis, Survivor Challenge, and her favorite activity of the program, dodgeball.

“The coaches were very nice and the people in the dodgeball activity were very nice,” she said.  

During the Fun Day Jamboree the children said goodbye, for now, to one another while playing games such as red rover, capture the flag, musical chairs, parachute games, and sponge throw at rec leaders. They also participated in a relay contest and enjoyed a picnic of hot dogs, potato chips and brownies. 

The first day of school for Valley Unified students is Thursday, Aug. 22.

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