Summertime with Douglas Parks & Recreation |

Summertime with Douglas Parks & Recreation

by Shannon Litz

The Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department is busy year-round with a variety of classes and programs for all ages, from dance and martial arts to sewing and painting. Summertime sees many camps and classes to supplement youths’ and children’s regular warm-weather activities.

Former NFL football player JoJo Townsell hosts the MeFiYi football camp at Stodick Park.

Although there is an emphasis on football basics, Townsell said an important part of the camp is cooperation and learning to support each other as a team.

Another summertime physical activity offered through the parks department is Kids Karate taught by Diane Ortenzio-Cooling.

This class focuses on martial arts basics for children.

“It’s a great way for kids to learn self-discipline and how to be safe,” Ortenzio-Cooling said.

Her class meets at the recreation annex across from Lampe Park.

For younger children Anne Morris teaches a Messy Art class at the Dance Workshop. The class is for 3- to 5-year-olds, and Morris said it gives children freedom in their artwork.

Wearing decorated T-shirts students walk in paint to make footprints and use a shaving cream/paint combination to create puffy art during the class.

Another creative class for children is taught by Paulette Gochie. She hosts several sections of the Sagebrush Kids Sewing Camp during the summer at the recreation annex. While learning basic sewing techniques students have the opportunity to make their own backpacks, hats and blankets.

For more active youth former Douglas High School athlete Josh Sorich teaches a tennis camp at Lampe Park during the summer. The two-week camp hosts a session for teens and a session for 5- to 12-year-olds. Sorich has taught the camp for three years.

To find out more about classes available through the year, visit or the sports Web site,