SKOWHEGAN — Spring has just begun, but the town Parks & Recreation Department is already preparing for summer. This year teenagers can participate in two new clubs: Teen Extreme and Hike & Bike.

Sign-ups are ongoing at the Skowhegan Community Center on Poulin Drive and will continue until slots are filled. There are more than 40 programs, clubs, camps and clinics for children, teenagers and adults this spring and summer.

“It’s important for kids to get involved in the community. I feel it helps them be more wholesome adults,” said Heather Goodridge, a staff assistant for the department.

The Teen Extreme outdoor adventure program is for ages 13 to 17 and will run in July. Teens will enjoy activites such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing, camping, biking and hiking.

The cost for the month is $30 for Skowhegan residents and $50 for non-residents.

The “Hike & Bike” program this July is for ages 13 and older and will include trips to Tumbledown Mountain near Weld and an excursion to Maine Huts & Trails in western Maine.

The department will provide bikes and helmets for those who don’t have them, Goodridge said, thanks to a Move More Kids grant from the New Balance Foundation.

There will be a minimal fee for the program, and people can pay per week if they don’t participate the entire month.

“It’s a great chance for kids to come out, move around,” said Stephen McDaniel, a staff assistant.

The programs aim to give youth a sense of adventure and teach communication and leadership skills, he said. They’re not sport-related like many of the department’s other programs.

Logan Joy, 9, of Skowhegan was at the community center Sunday to play basketball. “I come here a lot,” he said, adding that he hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll participate in a summer program.

For more information about programming, including free Easter events for all ages at the end of April, call 474-6901 or visit www.skowhegan.org.

Erin Rhoda — 474-9534

[email protected]

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