Rec Department Prepares for Full Summer of Activities

Enjoying the crystal-clear waters of the Howard Fox Pool are these youngsters on Friday, June 22nd. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson


Summer officially begins in Calais when the Howard Fox Memorial Pool opens – at least for the youth of the community who have been flooding the pool since it opened on June 19th.  For the first time that Recreation Director Craig Morrison can remember, the pool opened on time this year – and it is in excellent condition on all counts. The pool isn’t the only good news the Rec Department has to share, either. This year will see the start of four brand new camps, new tennis courts and the possibility of a splash pad addition by the pool.



New and returning camps

Every summer the Rec Department offers a host of camps suitable for a variety of interests. Families can take part in the ever-popular Day Camp which engages youth in various activities including field trips and swimming lessons, adult tennis camp, youth summer golf, a softball clinic, a baseball clinic, NJTL’s tennis camp and cheerleading camps, each of which are returning after being run successfully in previous years.

New camps this year include a youth basketball camp, volleyball camp, soccer camp and a tumbling camp. “I’ve always wanted to do a basketball camp because we’re a basketball town,” Morrison said. He added that while there are some that exist, there aren’t many for the younger children – and this camp will be suitable for those between grades K-4. Sean Cavanaugh, coach of the Calais High School boys team, will be running the camp which starts July 9th and runs through July 13th, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

If you have an aspiring acrobat in your family, certified instructor Candi Kelly Welch is ready to teach them how to properly tumble at the first-ever Tumbling Camp. The two-week camp is suitable for both boys and girls between grades K-8. The camp will be divided into two groups by age once it starts, and it will run from July 9th to July 20th on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:30-6 p.m.

Kids with an interest in soccer will have their curiosity further engaged by Josh Smith, a serviceman with the Coast Guard that recently relocated to the area. Smith, who offered basic skills training to students last year, agreed to teach the camp at Morrison’s request. It will run from August 13th to August 17th with two sessions, one for grades K-4 from 9-10 a.m. and one for grades 5-8 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The volleyball camp arose when parents began asking Morrison about it. He, in turn, contacted Kati Grass, who is an experienced high-school level coach. Grass readily agreed and the volleyball camp is now being planned. Contact the Rec Department at 454-2761 or 454-2762 or email for more information.

New tennis courts

The project to rehabilitate the Thomas DiCenzo tennis courts is making great strides. The pavement is all in place, the fences are up and gates are being added. The next step – which may have been completed by the time this issue goes to press – is to paint the courts and put the nets up, a process that Morrison expects will take two days. After that, the beautifully-redone courts will be ready for public use – including a potential adult tournament this summer.


The pool and splash pad

Four days after the pool opened it had already hosted approximately 500 people. The hot weather has been drawing in copious amounts of returning patrons as well as a steady number of new visitors, Morrison said. Opening on time and offering waters that are “as clear as I’ve ever seen them” are added bonuses.

“It’s in really good shape,” Morrison said. “The new filtration system is running really well.”

This year’s returning pool director is Casey Donovan. He is joined by six returning lifeguards: Kylie Donovan, Kobey Gillespie, Katie Cavanaugh, Emily Mitchell, Kyle Richard, and John Lapointe. New to the roster this year is Adam Barnard. Together, the trained group maintains a careful watch on the pool’s occupants.

Those who would like to receive swimming lessons can do so from July 16th to August 17th, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Last fall, the old changing shed was torn down by the city. Morrison is hoping to install a splashpad in its location if he is able to raise the funds for it. He has determined that the cost for a self-contained splashpad, including its complete installation, will be about $13,000. If the funds can be raised soon, it may be operational by the end of the summer.


For more information about the pool or any of the camps, including pricing information, call the Rec Center at 454-2761 or the pool at 454-2762, or email