DPR summer camp!
Durham Parks and Recreation will host the Summer Connect Program for young people ages 6 to 12 and 13 to 17 on weekdays, July 20–24, July 27–31, and August 3–7. The hours—7:30am–12:30pm or 12:30–5:30pm—will depend on the program site.
This modified version of summer camp will limit the number of participants to nine per group, with constant cleaning of equipment, surfaces, and materials. DPR will be using a lottery system to be fair to everyone, because they’re taking so many safety precautions.
Participants will be chosen every week, so no child will attend the program for more than one week. If your child is chosen, you’ll receive a phone call or email instructing you to pay the session fee within 48 hours to secure your spot. Spaces at each park location will be filled first-come, first-served.
Only one lottery application per family is allowed; however, if you put in a request for more than one child in your household, they’ll all be placed in the program if space permits. If your child has not been chosen, he or she will be placed on a waiting list, and when a space opens up, the person next in line will be contacted. When that happens, you’ll have to register and pay in full on the same day.
Call 919-560-4355 (starting Monday, July 20, 8am–1pm) for info on session fees and DPR’s sliding-scale program for people with limited means.
Boat use on the city lakes
There’s a lottery in place to limit access to Lake Michie (2802 Bahama Rd, in Bahama) and Little River (301 Little River Park Way, in Rougemont) in order to protect visitors by encouraging social distancing. Face masks are required for those times you encounter others at a relatively short distance.
Right now Lake Michie is open (Friday–Monday, 6:30am–6pm) for personal (nonmotorized) boat launches and fishing on the banks of the lake. Canoe and kayak (car-top) owners are first-come, first-served; visitors with trailered canoes and kayaks are the ones who have to go through the lottery system. If you have a personal motorized boat, you’ll also have to get a permit through a lottery system. Boat rentals aren’t available at this time.
Little River is only open (Friday–Monday, 6:30am–6pm) for bank fishing, and permits will be required through a lottery system. Boat rentals aren’t available at this time.
Lotteries will run from noon to 6pm the day before you plan to launch your boat or go bank fishing. Text “LM Launch” to 31996 to be entered for a personal motorized boat launch permit at Lake Michie, or text “LR Bank Fish” to 31996 to be entered for a bank fishing permit at Little River Lake. Permit winners will be notified via text as soon as the lottery closes at 6pm.
Full Moon Fever Bike Ride
Durham Parks and Recreation’s Full Moon Fever Bike Ride will take place on Saturday, August 1, starting at Mellow Mushroom (410 Blackwell St). Group 1 will head out on the American Tobacco Trail at 7:30pm to meet up with group 2 in front of Bean Traders (105 W NC Hwy 54) at 8:30pm. Everybody will ride down to the New Hope Church Road Trailhead, and will then turn around and head back. You can choose which group to ride with depending on your stamina (group 1 will ride 32 miles and group 2 will ride 16). Helmets and lights are required; take your mask just in case riders end up being within 6 feet of each other. You’ll probably be out until at least 10:30pm. If it rains, the ride will be canceled. No signup is necessary for participating in this free event; visit the Facebook event page for more info.
Design your own walking tours
Here’s a fun page from the OLLI at Duke’s online Learning for Life calendar (OLLI is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). It comes in handy for people who are tired of being cooped up and want to go out and get some exercise and see things of interest.
Near the top of the page (on the left-hand side) is a link for touring famous museums from around the world, such as the Guggenheim, the Louvre, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Continue down the page and see three presentations that “street historian” John Schelp put together centered on the vintage local postcards from his collection. The presentations can serve as the basis for your own walking or biking tours where you can learn so much about Durham’s rich history. Part 1 covers West Durham, Duke University, and Erwin Mills; Part 2 covers Watts Hospital, Christian’s Mill, and part of downtown; and Part 3 covers parts of downtown, Hayti, North Carolina Central University, and the beginnings of Research Triangle Park.
Enjoy your time outdoors!
Bull City Futsal Academy
Bull City Futsal Academy is making plans for starting up this summer. (Futsal is a fast-moving game played 5 on a side on a smaller court.) Elementary/middle-school students from Eastway, Neal, KIPP Durham, Merrick Moore, Lakewood, Frank Porter Graham, Washington, Sherwood, EK Powe, and Southwest are invited to click here to learn more. There are a few limited spots for students from other schools. The plan is to start with a 5-week program starting in July—there will be a Preseason Camp on Saturday, July 4. The 5-week Saturday-morning skill-development camps will be held from July 18 to August 15. This is a free program—sign up today.
There’s also a High School Academy for students born between 2002 and 2006, and they will also be able to participate in a free 5-week series of skill-development sessions. Click here for more info and to sign up.
Summertime fitness and fun
Many of us who enjoy the outdoors and also Durham Parks and Recreation’s indoor and outdoor programs and features. While the pandemic has caused the closure of most DPR facilities since March, some programs are accepting participants while practicing social distancing and heightened cleanliness routines.
Here’s what’s open right now:
And here’s what remains to be closed:
Learn new coping skills
Dr Tiffany Hopkins, a clinical psychologist at UNC–Chapel Hill, is uploading daily videos to her new 5 Minute Coping Skills YouTube channel. Visit when you start to feel stressed and learn coping techniques like Paced Breathing and Sensory Awareness. Visit Dr Hopkins’ channel here and subscribe so that you can add her short, helpful videos to your daily routine.
LCHC Walk Club
The Lincoln Community Health Center Walk Club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9–10am, at WD Hill Recreation Center (1308 Fayetteville St). Call 919-956-4000 for more info.
Durham NC parkrun
If you like to run for fun, join Durham NC parkrun. Once you register, you can take part in timed 5k runs on Saturdays starting at 8am in Southern Boundaries Park (100 Third Fork Dr). Print out your barcode from the website so the officials can give you your time. Check out the course here, and click here to sign up/print out your barcode. It’s free; click here to see typical questions asked of the volunteer organizers (or simply write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. Some of the runners relax after the weekly run at Foster’s Market in Durham (2694 Durham–Chapel Hill Blvd (aka Hwy 15-501))—if you have the time, feel free to join them.
Did you know that Durham Parks and Recreation has a Weather Line at 919-560-4636? If you’re planning to attend a DPR event and the weather’s iffy, just call the DPR Weather Line or visit their Facebook page to see whether the event has been cancelled.
Sign up for programs online first by opening an account: Go to DPRPlayMore.org, click on “Register Online,” and then click on “Request New Account” in the upper right-hand corner.