Hot weather plays a role in Clarendon Hills Park District’s activities
Participants in the Clarendon Hills Park District's Sports Camp play a game of Sharks and Minnows in the Prospect School Gym July 26. | Chuck Fieldman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 10, 2012 6:11AM
CLARENDON HILLS — The heat brings a twist to traditional outdoor summer activities in Clarendon Hills this year as park district officials plan around the excessive heat.
At the Lions Park Pool, Don Scheltens, the park district’s executive director, said he expects to likely finish the 2012 season at the pool with very high attendance figures.
Final financial figures are not yet available, but Scheltens said he doesn’t anticipate any problem in revenues from the pool reach the $300,000 budgeted. Pool revenue comes from a variety of sources, including an expected $190,000 from season passes and $32,000 from daily admission fees.
Attendance at the pool, 100 Byrd Court, was running about normal for July for admissions recorded through July 25. However, the slightly more than 13,000 admissions in June were a noticeable increase from 9,200 in June 2011 and 10,000 in June 2010.
“I think a lot of people came out in June this year because it got hot early, and coming to the pool was new for the year at that point,” Scheltens said. “Because people came more this year in June, they maybe were looking for something else to do sometimes once we got into July.”
Scheltens said another factor this summer in increased attendance is that the pool has not had to be closed this year for any full days because of weather-related issues.
“We’ve maybe had to shut things down for a couple of hours because of lightning this year, but last year we had to close down four times because of severe storms and power outages caused by the storms,” he said.
While it’s too early to tell how crowded the pool will be in August, Scheltens said attendance during that month typically decreases considerably compared to June and July.
“August is when we see the big drop-off in attendance,” he said. “That’s when a lot of people go on vacations and start getting ready for school to start.”
The park district also operated three summer camps for kids: Camp Discovery for 3- to 4-year-olds; a summer camp for ages 4-10; and a sports camp for ages 4-10.
While most of the programs for camps are centered on outdoor activities at Prospect Park, the park district had the use of its indoor community center and Prospect School.
“For our sports camp, especially, we tried to keep the kids inside as much as possible because of the heat,” said Jessica Hart, a recreation supervisor. “We didn’t have to worry about rain this summer, but kids don’t have fun in an environment where it’s that hot.”
For the other camps, indoor craft activities were sometimes used as a way to avoid the heat.
“Camp was only for two hours each day, and we didn’t have the kids outside much for more than 20 minutes at a time,” Hart said.
Children participating in the park district’s sports camp didn’t mind being inside the Prospect School gym for some activities the last week of camp, instead of being outside in the heat.
“It’s fun to play outside, too, but if it’s boiling hot we do go inside and do things,” said sports camp participant Colin Chmielewski, 9.
“I don’t really care if it’s hot,” added fellow sports camper Olivia Miller, 8. “We can have fun if we’re outside or inside.”