By MAYA KOEPPEN — As the school year comes to a close, the Teen Center @ Magruder is getting ready for a summer of fun.
Camp Staycation is the teen center’s summer evening program, which boasts pool days and on-site events, as well as local trips. Teen center camp hours are Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Fridays from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
Camp Staycation will host its first trip on June 19 and will continue to host local trips every Wednesday (and intermittent Fridays) through August 21. The schedule currently includes a Bowie Baysox game (July 5), an evening at the Kennedy Center (July 17) and a bowling night (July 19). Registration is required for these trips, and students can receive transportation to the teen center. As of mid-May, some trips, including the bowling night and a visit to the African American Museum (July 24), were already full and had a wait list.
On-site activities, including laser tag, a DJ music event, a roller rink, a movie on the lawn and an art truck, do not require registration.
Pool days will take place at the Hamilton Splash Pool most Friday afternoons from 12:30 to 4 p.m. On those days, lunch will be provided at noon at the park pavilion near the Magruder Park Recreation Building and will be followed by games and other activities.
Camp Staycation is intended for rising sixth- through 12th-grade students, according to the City of Hyattsville’s website. To be eligible for the teen center or Camp Staycation, students must live within the city’s limits or attend Chelsea School, DeMatha Catholic High School, Hyattsville Middle School, Nicholas Orem Middle School, Northwestern High School or St. Jerome Academy.
According to City of Hyattsville Youth Programs Coordinator Suzie Johnson, who founded what was then the Magruder Park Teen Club in 2017, the summer program benefits both the teens and the greater community.
“[The center] gives them something to do in the summer. They are not just sitting around doing nothing. We are going to be doing tutoring, too, to keep their minds fresh for the start of school next year,” said Johnson. “Just the camaraderie, you know, bringing them together as a team, I think is a good thing.”
Community Services Director Jake Rollow also sees the summer program as having a positive influence on local youth.
“The summer program will continue to provide recreational and academic activities with supportive adults to our teenagers. It’s a small program in scale, and so only has so much impact on the community at large, but has tremendous benefit for the youth who participate,” he said.
Rollow noted that there is a continuing need for volunteers for the teen center’s mentorship and tutoring program, which pairs local teens with members of the community during the school year and over the summer. Volunteers must be 21 and older and able to commit at least one night a week to the program.
Teen center programs currently run after school Monday through Friday at the center, located at 3911 Hamilton Street. A variety of classes, including art, college and career, cooking, and sports and fitness classes, are offered throughout the week. Tutoring is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m.