(July 16, 2021) The Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department has much to celebrate, as national Parks and Recreation month is upon us.
July has been nationally recognized as Parks and Recreation Month, and Ocean City will once again commemorate it as community members and visitors can take advantage of all the programs the department has to offer.
“Having served as a community hub, we have provided our residents and visitors with many wonderful experiences and memories,” said Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito.
Throughout the summer, the department offers recreational programs, youth summer camps, drop-in sports, athletic tournaments and an assortment of other activities.
For example, Northside Park on 125th Street provides open play pickleball Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. The cost is $3 for Ocean City residents and $5 for non-residents. Drop-in basketball is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. for the same cost as pickleball. More information can be found online at oceancitymd.gov in the drop-in programs tab.
Some of the popular camps include dance, lacrosse, baseball, fishing and various water activities.
The recreation department predominately employs college-aged students to work as counselors for the youth summer camps. The department contracts directors from various areas for the sports camps and specialty camps to bring in their own staff.
“We typically try to get collegiate coaches to run our sports camps, who will come in with their own crew,” Petito said.
For example, the University of Maryland baseball team will be directing the baseball camp offered this summer. St. Paul’s of Baltimore boys’ lacrosse Head Coach Mitch Whitely will head the lacrosse camp.
There are over 20 different youth camps available, so children, no matter what they are interested in, can find a recreational activity to engage in this summer.
Register online at oceancitymd.gov in the parks and recreation section of the website or signups can be done in person at Northside Park.
With covid-19 restrictions relaxed, the recreation department is fully prepared for an action-packed summer.
“Our mission is to provide quality recreational, cultural and social opportunities, as well as safe and clean parks to enhance the quality of life for Ocean City residents and visitors,” Petito said.
In addition to the variety of camps and recreational activities, the department also offers family beach activity days and free movie nights on the beach to promote community engagement.
The family movie nights are Mondays and Fridays at 8:30 p.m. located on the 27th Street beach through Aug. 13. Movies will also run every Wednesday behind the Carousel Hotel on the 118th Street beach at 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 25.
The family beach games will be held on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. on 27th Street through Aug. 10. Games will also run every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. behind the Carousel Hotel on the 118th Street through Aug. 26.
In addition, there is Sundaes in the Park at Northside featuring live music and a drone show each Sunday evening beginning at 7 p.m.
All free events run by the department can be found at www.ococean.com.
“The celebration of July as Parks and Recreation Month is just a small way for us to share our love of what we do with the community,” Petito said.
The department is also running a social media contest each week of this month for people to share their favorite local parks and recreational experiences. The winning photos will be announced each Thursday on the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department’s social media platforms.