Summer 2018 Recreation Programs

Additional Links

** Dates and times for Start Smart Soccer have changed.  Please see below

Spring/Summer Brochure (Full Version)

** For specific information on the Summer Playground Program, please follow the 2018 Summer Playground Program link above (under Parks and Recreation)!



Summer Brochure Programs:


Safe Sitter Babysitting Course



WHO: Boys and girls 11-15 years old

WHEN: Session I:   Monday, April 23

                 Session II:  Thursday, August 10

                Session III:  Tuesday, August 15


TIME: 9:00am-2:30pm

WHERE: Van Buren Park Lodge FEE: $60/participant (Min. for class= 4; Max. # in class = 8)

Safe Sitter® teaches young teens everything they need to know to be safe when they're home alone, watching younger siblings or babysitting. Participants will learn life-saving skills such as how to rescue someone who's choking, basic first aid, how to handle situations that may occur, how to prevent injuries, how to seek help when serious issues arise and helpful information like what to do if there is severe weather.

Students will need to remain on site for the entire time so each participant will need to bring the following items to class: a lunch, drink, snack, notebook and a pen/pencil.

Start Smart Soccer


 WHO:  Kids 3-5 plus a parent

WHEN:   Wednesdays, June  20- July 25

TIME: 6:30-7:30pm

WHERE:  Van Buren Central Park, near tennis courts

FEE:  $45.00/participant  (Min. for class = 6; Max. for class = 12)


Start Smart Soccer is a developmentally appropriate introductory soccer program for children (ages 3-5). It is a parent/guardian participation program for young children who have never played soccer. Get in the game and sign up for Start Smart™ Soccer today. Start Smart™ Soccer teaches children, ages 3 to 5, the basic motor skills necessary to play organized soccer while they work one-on-one and spend quality time with their parents. The program focuses on teaching children, and their parents, skills in dribbling, kicking, passing and trapping, and running/agility without the threat of competition or the fear of getting hurt.

Held once a week for six weeks; each week the exercises become increasingly more difficult as the class progresses and the children show improvement.


Start Smart programs prepare your child for organized sports in a FUN non-threatening environment. Each program is age specific. Equipment is also designed for each age specific group. Equipment is included in the signup fee. Parent participation is required at every session for each program.


Dog Obedience (Beginners and Manners classes) - Summer Classes


 WHO:     Dogs (at least 4 mos. old) and their handler (at least 14 years old)

WHAT:  A beginner dog obedience class

WHEN:   Mondays, July 9-August 13

TIME:     6:45pm-7:30pm                

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Lodge

FEE:        Beginner - $55.00/participant  (Min. in class = 3,  Max. in class = 8)

BeginnerThis class will cover basic obedience training, so handlers can have fun with their dogs!  Includes: heeling, stand, come, sit-stay and down-stay.

NOTEThose registered need to bring proof of Rabies, DHL and Parvo inoculations to first class.  You will also need to bring a six-foot lead and training collar to class (beginners) and a 10 foot lead to the advanced class.  Please bring treats for reinforcements.



 WHO:  Dogs (at least 4 mos. old) and their handler (at least 14 years old)

WHAT:  A continuation of basic dog obedience

WHEN:   Mondays, July 9-August 13

TIME:    7:45pm-8:30pm

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Lodge

FEE:         $60.00/participant  (Min. in class = 3, Max. in class =5)


This class covers body language, leash manners, setting boundaries, correcting unwanted behavior and defining socialization.


Training collar and 6' leash are required.  No flexi leads or choke collars allowed.  All dogs must have current vaccines.  Handlers should bring soft chewy treats.


Evaluations to ensure dogs have basic obedience skills, which are needed for the class, will be done the first night of class.


NOTEThose registered need to bring proof of Rabies, DHL and Parvo inoculations to first class.



Summer Craft Classes

Wednesday, July 11:     MAKE YOUR OWN PIGGY BANK

WHO:  Kids 4 and older

TIME:    6:30-7:00pm

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Lodge

FEE:    $6.00

(Min. for class= 3; Max. # in class = 8)


Have fun and paint your own ceramic 4" bank with top coin slot and rubber stopper on the bottom.  Participants will be able to choose from an elephant, a fish, a pig or a turtle.




WHO:  Kids 9 and older

TIME:    6:30am-7:45pm

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Lodge

FEE:    $15.00

(Min. for class= 3; Max. # in class = 5)

Participants will create four - 4” mosaic tiles using air –drying  indoor cement.  While we are waiting for the coasters to set, we will make a mosaic tile picture frame. Kids will enjoy painting these wooden frames with non-toxic metallic paint and arranging colorful polished porcelain tiles as accents.



Wednesday & Thursday, August 8 & 9 :  MOSAIC 8” STEPPING STONE

WHO:  Kids 9 and older

TIME:    6:30-7:45pm

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Lodge

FEE:    $15.00

(Min. for class= 3; Max. # in class = 5)

Discover just how fun making stained glass stepping stones really is! Create stepping stones using the innovative mosaic indirect method which requires no gluing or grouting.

This is a two day project.  Participants will set the mold the first day and lay the stones into a pattern.  The following day we will do any touch up work with paint.


TO REGISTERPlease use the program registration form. Please indicate which class you are signing up for.


Barefoot in the Park Yoga Series



 WHO:  Anyone 16 and up

WHEN:   Tuesdays, July 10-August 14 

                 or Thursdays, July 12-August 16

TIME: 7:00-8:15pm.

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Lodge

FEE:  $60.00/participant  (Min. for class = 10; Max. for class = 20)


Do you want to relieve stress, aches and pains, or simply sleep and feel better? Then, this 6 week Yoga series is for you.  This is a multi-level class which combines the wisdom of yoga with the science of exercise for an amazingly transformational experience.  It is taught in the traditional Hatha Yoga style which links the mind, body and breath to each movement.


Each class is led using detailed instruction to encourage anatomical alignment.  Variations and modifications of the postures are woven into each class in order to ensure the highest level of participation and enjoyment for each student.

**Yoga mat needed.   Outdoor class, but in case of inclement weather the class will be moved indoors.

 TO REGISTERPlease use the program registration form. Please indicate which night you are registering for.


Gross Out Olympics



WHO:  Kids 8-12  

WHEN:   Tuesday, July 24   (Raindate: July 25)

TIME: 9:30am.-12:00pm.

WHERE:  Van Buren Central Park

FEE:  $13.00/participant  (Min. for class = 15; Max. for class = 25)


Kids ages 6 and up will have fun in extreme gross out challenges such as the Human Cheese Puff, Lemon Slurp and many, many more! ALL Olympians earn a gold medal!

Wear bathing suits or clothes that can get dirty! A sprinkler will be on hand for all Olympians to clean off in between each event. New events will be offered each day so sign up for one or all four!


Each participant will need to bring a water bottle, a towel and a change of clothing.



Jr Scientist Class I


WHO:  Children 8-12 years old

WHEN:  Mondays, April 30-May 21

TIME:   5:45-7:00PM

WHERE:   Van Buren Lodge (off of Connors Road)

FEE: $45.00/child  (Min # of kids = 3, Max # of kids = 6)


If you're looking for some fun science experiments for kids then you've come to the right place.  Learn interesting science facts by experimenting with different materials that react in surprising ways. You'll find a lot of experiments can be done using simple ingredients found around your house (with adult supervision of course). Basic materials can help you perform experiments that are simple, safe and perfect for kids.

Some of the experiments that we will be doing will include dancing raisins, elephant toothpaste, lumpy liquids/squishy solids and more!


** Kids will need to bring their own pair of goggles to the class! 



Canvas Art



Who:  Kids 5 and up for all projects

Date: Thursdays: April 5, May 3 and June 14

Time:    5:30pm -  most projects will run 30-60 minutes

Location: Van Buren Park Lodge, Connors Road

Fee:   11”x14” canvas - $15


Minimum for each class=3; a maximum of 10 kids


Unleash your little Picassos!  It’s the perfect opportunity for you to create a unique work of canvas art! There is no experience needed just your enthusiasm as our instructor will walk you through the creation. All the supplies are provided, participants will paint one canvas.


April 5:



May 3:




June 14:

Yoga for Everyone - with Sybil

WHEN:  Starting September 19

AGES:  13 and older            

WHERE:   New, beautiful, studio location at Willow Health & Wellness Center, 3090 Belgium Road (Rt 31).

          Across from NYS Troopers Station in the Physical Therapy Plus Building. Please use the rear entrance to the building.

 FEE:       $45.00/person for any 5 classes (90 date expiration)          



Tuesday             5:30-6:45pm Hatha Yoga at Willow Health & Wellness Center

Wednesday       9:00-10:15am Hatha Yoga at Willow Health & Wellness Center

Wednesday       6:00-7:15pm Gentle & Restorative Yoga at Willow Health & Wellness Center


Class descriptions are as follows:

HATHA YOGA - all levels

This is a Kripalu based class which teaches classic yoga postures with deep awareness of correct alignment. Each class will begin with centering on breath (pranayama) allowing you to turn inward and focus on the experience of the body and breath (meditation). Gentle warm-up stretches follow and move into a variety of yoga postures (asanas). The postures will challenge the body & mind through stretching, relaxing and breathing while holding the postures. Poses may be held for an extended period of time adding to the challenge for both body and mind. Postures and holding times will be tailored according to fitness level of the class.This practice helps train the  mind to be focused, alert and composed. Class ends with a lying out relaxation incorporating affirmations or guided relaxation. You will leave class feeling balanced, relaxed and energized.

GENTLE & RESTORATIVE YOGA - all levels including beginners and those with limitations This is a gentle practice benefits the bodies overall health and well-being. Class combines self-care techniques, gentle & supported poses, conscious breathing and meditation. It is appropriate for all students seeking the healing benefits of a very relaxing, gentle and restorative practice. Deep restorative work stretches and opens the body, improves posture, range of motion, and joint mobility. Reduces pain, muscle tension, and the effects of stress. Stimulates the immune system and helps balance the nervous system. Brings relief from fatigue and insomnia and prepares us for a full, restful night's sleep. Students with injuries, arthritis or other chronic conditions, limitations related to age or size as well as students with a more vigorous yoga practice will benefit from this practice. Blankets, bolsters, straps, and blocks will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own. A chair can be provided for those who are uncomfortable on the floor (laying poses will be skipped with focus on breath to modify). Balances & grounds us in life.

Boater Safety Courses




WHO:  Ages 10 and up

WHAT:  A course in boater safety


Session I:  Sunday, March 4

Session II:  Sunday, March 18

Session III:  Saturday, March 31

Session IV: Saturday, April 21

Session V:  Saturday, May 12

Session VI:  Saturday, June 2

Session VII: Saturday, June 23   

Session VIII:  Saturday, July 28

Session IX:  Saturday, August 18

TIME:  9:00am. - 5:30pm

WHERE:  Van Buren Town Hall

FEE:  $35.00 per participant (covers materials and certificates)

(Min. for class = 20; Max. for class= 30)


The Boating Safety Course is a comprehensive, one day, training class focusing on the importance of safety on the water. It presents an opportunity to learn from U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary certified instructors.  The course is specifically designed for New York State Boaters and tailored to local boating waters for the safe operation of boats and personal watercraft.

This course satisfies  the boater education requirements for ALL STATES.

Instructors that have extensive knowledge and experience with local boating,  are certified by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, New York State Parks, and the National Safe Boating Council will provide professional instruction and answer your boating questions.

The number of students in each class is limited.  Advance registration is required.

Participants must pass the exam to receive their certification.






Mother's Day Project



WHO:   Children  11 and under (parents with children under the age of 5 must remain on site with their children)

WHEN:   Thursday, May 10

TIME:  5:00-5:30pm.

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Lodge (Connors Road)

FEE:   $13.00/participant  (minimum #3; max #6)

Children will get a chance to personalize a large clay pot using ceramic paints and fill it with flowers.  This personalized pot will be transformed into a flower pot for their mothers or grandmothers for Mother’s Day.


Fishing Derby


 WHO:  Children, Teens and "tweens”, ages 4 to 15.  Those  ages 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent.

WHAT:  A fishing derby!

WHEN:  Saturday, April 28

TIME:  8:00 - 11:00am

WHERE:  Van Buren Park Pond, enter from Connors Rd.



Come see what fish can be caught at Van Buren Pond!  Prizes will be given for "longest fish" in two different age categories  Bring your own reels, bait, tackle, buckets, etc.  Rain or shine!

TO REGISTER:  Please contact the Parks and Recreation Office at   315-638-4727, weekdays from 8:30am.-4:00pm. to let us know if your child/children will be attending, so we have an idea of a number to expect. 




Girl's K-2 basketball



WHO:  Girls ages K-2

WHEN:   Fridays, April 6 - May 11 (except April 27)    

TIME:  6:00-6:45pm

WHERE:  Elden  Elementary School

FEE: $30.00/participant  (Min for class = 7; Max. for class = 20)


The Little Ladies Basketball skills camp is for girls in grades pre-k to grade 2. The Little Ladies Basketball skills camp is intended to teach the basic fundamentals of the game of basketball. Participants will learn how to dribble, pass, catch, shoot, and move while playing both offense and defense. Participants will also gain general knowledge including game rules.


T-shirts will also be given out around the third week of class.  Please make sure to indicate the child’s t-shirt size on the registration form.



Knocker Soccer (Bubble Ball Soccer)

WHO: Adults 18 and older

WHEN: Tuesdays, July 10-August 7

TIME: 6:30-7:30pm.

WHERE: Van Buren Central Park

FEE: $30.00/participant (Min. for class = 10; Max. for class = 20)

The game itself is a cross between soccer and zorbing. The Knockerball (plastic orb) surrounding the player allows the player’s legs to run around freely. The objective of Knocker Soccer is to score against your opponent’s net and knock each other down while trying. When players hear the whistle, they rush in to the center to find and kick a soccer ball. As far as how the game is played, standard soccer rules apply, but full contact is allowed.

Teams will be made during the first night of class.


WHO: Children 5-11 years of age

WHEN: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 23 - August 2

TIME: 9:00-9:45am

WHERE: Van Buren Central Park, Canton Street

FEE: $40.00/participant, plus one can of tennis balls (Minimum # for class to run = 4; Max in class = 8)


Beginner tennis lessons for children 7-11 years of age. 6 - 45 minute sessions will be taught at the Van Buren Park tennis courts. Little or no tennis experience is necessary. Junior size rackets will be provided for those who need them.



The Town of Van Buren Parks and Recreation Department offers recreation programs for all ages! These change seasonally; all are listed in the Parks and Recreation Department program brochures. These are published 3 times per year (December, April and September) and distributed to schools in the Baldwinsville School District (now done electronically – email blasted through the school district), the banks in the Baldwinsville area, the Baldwinsville Public Library, and the Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce. They can also be found at the Van Buren Town Hall, and at the Parks and Recreation Office.

Please do not wait to register for a program! There is a point – usually 5 business days prior to start date – when we need to make a decision whether to cancel a program due to lack of participation. Invariably, we get many telephone inquiries on a program after we’ve cancelled it!

Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and are accepted:

  • Until the business day prior to the program start date,
  • By a specified registration deadline (will be listed with the program, if applicable), OR
  • Until the program fills to capacity!

Fill out a registration form (one per person). These can either be downloaded from this website, or found in the Recreation Departments program brochures. Mail the form(s) with payment to the Parks and Recreation Department, or stop by during office hours (8:30am.-4:00pm., Monday-Friday).

Payment is accepted in the form of cash or check only – we do not accept credit cards! Please do not send cash through the mail. Completed registration form and payment must be received by this office prior to participation in a program.

** Due to budgetary and time constraints, you will NOT be sent a confirmation of your registration, OR be contacted by telephone! You will ONLY be contacted if we are unable to fit you into the program requested, or in the event of a program cancellation. So, if you do not hear from us, simply report to the program the first day it meets. You are certainly welcome to contact this office to check on any registrations.

Most of the activities listed in our brochure are the result of interest on the part of an individual or group of people. If you would like our department to expand on any existing programs or create new ones, we would welcome your suggestions! Either mail or email your ideas, call us, or visit the Parks & Recreation office during business hours. We’d love to hear from you!