Splashing through summer

Taylor Kesssler, 9, and Juilana Kinney, 6, enjoy cooling off in the Huachuca City pool during Summer Splash, a program for kindergarten through seventh-grade children. 

HUACHUCA CITY — Nine-year-old Taylor Kessler is spending his summer break hanging out with school friends in a fun environment filled with swimming, games, crafts and educational activities.

The town of Huachuca City’s Summer Splash program has been providing parents with a safe, supervised place for their kids during the summer for a number of years now. The program is split into two monthlong sessions in June and July.

“Our first Summer Splash session ended last Friday,” said Stephanie Fulton, Huachuca City Library director and the person who oversees the summer program. “Our second session starts July 6 and runs through the 23rd.”

Children from kindergarten through seventh grade can enroll in the program. Cost is $70 for kids attending school in Tombstone Unified School District or who live within the school district — Whetstone, Huachuca City and Tombstone — regardless of where they attend school. Cost for all other children is $100 per session. Parents can register their children for the program at the Huachuca City Library, 506 Gonzales Blvd. For information, call 520-456-1063.

“Children can register anytime,” Fulton said. “However, the cost is the same, even if they start the program late.”

Monday through Friday, parents drop their children off at Huachuca City School at 8:30 in the morning and pick them up at 1:30. The kids are provided breakfast and lunch.

Youngsters enrolled in the first session were treated with a guest visit from Smokey Bear and learned about fire prevention and safety. Huachuca City police officers have stopped by to chat with kids, along with firefighters from Whetstone Fire District.

While there are plenty of hands-on projects to keep the kids entertained, swimming in the Huachuca City Pool on Thursdays and Fridays tops the list of favorite activities.

“I like everything, but swimming is the most fun thing we do,” said Kessler before rolling into a backward somersault with his friends.

“We’re going to have a reptile show in the library on Tuesday,” Fulton said. “That’s always really popular. It’ll be interesting to see how swimming stands up to snakes and lizards.”