October 21, 2021

Ready to jump right in

A year after COVID ruined summer, the fun is back

Kevin Conlon/city editor

A child wades in the water Tuesday at Yaman Beach in Cortland. Recreation programs in the greater Cortland area are reopening this year after having largely been closed last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The end of the school year is only a few weeks away, and the next stop is summer vacation. Cortland County has a variety of youth programs and events planned this summer to entertain children and their families.

The Cortland YMCA is gearing up for summer camp, swim team, Koei-Kan Karate classes, and the BorgWarner Cortland County Family YMCA Race Series.

“I am really looking forward to being able to restart more of our programs, both this summer and in the fall, as things keep opening up and restrictions continue to ease,” said Margo Upson, the YMCA’s membership and marketing director. “It’s been a long, quiet year, and it’ll be great to see everyone again.

I miss having kids playing ball in the gymnasium, and enjoying open swim, and all of the excitement and happy chaos that comes with that.”

The YMCA will follow state COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing and cleaning daily, and will require participants to wear their masks whenever they’re within 6 feet of another person, such as when practicing karate or waiting at the starting line of the race.

The summer camp program will allow 24 to 36 children each week, and has new games and activities planned that will maintain social distance while still encouraging teamwork, imagination and fun, Upson said.

The YMCA is bringing back the rock wall and swimming sessions this summer, but its focus is on providing more outdoor activities than previous years.

“Last week’s change in mask policy made it clear that things are going to change quickly from here on out. So, if you have a favorite program that hasn’t returned yet, keep checking in,” Upson said.


Guide to summer fun
For more on summer recreation and children’s programs, go to:

  • YMCA — www.cortlandymca.org/
  • YWCA — cortlandywca.org
  • JM McDonald Sports Complex — www.jmmcomplex.com/
  • Lime Hollow Nature Center — www.limehollow.org/
  • Cortland Youth Bureau — tinyurl.com/9h8zz8v2
  • Homer recreation programs — tinyurl.com/ee9xn9cf

The beach at Yaman Park opened to the public last weekend — open 11 a.m. to 7p.m. daily — and the Wickwire Pool at Suggett Park opens June 26, from noon to 7 p.m. daily.

The Cortland Youth Bureau announced last week that benches and shade structures are being installed at the splash pad in Suggett Park.

The Cortland Youth Bureau is offering ‘Fun for Tots,’ Little Sticks Lacrosse for first- and second-graders, and summer soccer programs for ages 5 through 12. Its online calendar also lists events and sporting events throughout the summer.

The village of Homer’s Parks and Recreation Department is also offering youth sports programs, including soccer for ages 5 through 12, and girls softball for ages 14 and 17.

Starting June 28, a mobile arts and crafts program will be on the Village Green in Newton Water Works Park. The program will take place from 10 a.m. to noon every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Children 5
years old and older are invited to play games and learn crafts with instructor Tammy Dowdle.

Families or groups can reserve park pavilions, baseball fields and more online through the Cortland Youth Bureau or the village of Homer’s recreation department.