Summer camp registrations Monday; ‘South Pacific’ next weekend; library events

A scene from the movie “Journey to the South Pacific,” to be shown at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Maritime Acquarium’s IMAX Theater. (Contributed)

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk announcements:

  • Expanded summer camp will cost more, replace PF camp
  • ‘South Pacific’ to be showcased by Symphony, Maritime Aquarium
  • February library events



Rec & Parks announces summer camp expansion – and price hike

Play & Learn Summer Camp for Norwalk youngsters ages 6-14 has been completely overhauled and expanded to five locations for the 2020 season, according to a press release.  Camp schedule is 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekdays from June 29 to August 7.

The release states that Play & Learn campers will enjoy sports, games, arts exploration, performance arts, pool and beach time, field trips and adventures, plus weekly themes and special events. All site directors are said to be camp programming experts drawn from the ranks of teachers, recreation professionals, and school support staff members.

Play & Learn is operated by Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department, helmed by director Nick Roberts, and will replace the Personal Fulfillment Camp (PF Camp) formerly operated by Norwalk Public Schools.

Play & Learn has operated at a loss in recent years, the press release said. In setting the 2020 fee, City staff researched other public and private camps in the area, settling on an amount which is lower than other program fees while sufficient to enable a high-quality camping experience.

The season fee is $900.  Aftercare until 5:30 p.m. can be had for $150, and week-long options are available as well.  Payment plans are accepted through the Recreation and Parks office.  Registration begins online at nwlk.norwalkct.org and in-person at Norwalk City Hall on Monday Feb. 3, and will remain open until June 12, or when all camps are full. Online payment plans and sibling discounts are available through May 22, 2020. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of registration. More information can be obtained by e-mailing Recreation Superintendent Sandy Korkatzis at [email protected], or by visiting norwalkct.org/recreationandparks.




Norwalk Symphony to perform tunes from ‘South Pacific’

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific: In Concert” will be performed by the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jonathan Yates in conjunction with New Paradigm Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 8 in the Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Ave.

Starring performers will be Emily Kristen Morris, Luke Scott, Cidalia Kettles, Benjamin Howes, and Patrick Conaghan.  Advance tickets range from $25 to $50 (students $10), with extra pre-concert and intermission reception options available.  Buy online at www.NorwalkSymphony.org. All tickets at the door will be $50.

Earlier that day, at noon and 3 p.m., in honor of the concert, the Maritime Aquarium will screen a 40-minute IMAX feature “Journey to the South Pacific”, showing sea creatures of West Papua.  Before the 3 p.m. screening, Aquarium President Jason Pattis, will draw upon his leadership experience at World Wildlife Fund, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society to speak on conservation efforts in the South Pacific.  According to a press release, Aquarium members will get a 10 percent discount on advance concert ticket purchases (learn how at www.maritimeaquarium.org/ membership.), and all advance ticket holders can enjoy a special pre-show pre fixe dinner at either La Calle Arepas Bar, Paella Restaurant & Tapas Wine Bar, or Evarito’s Mexican Kitchen.



February happenings at SoNo Branch Library

These events were announced in a press release.  All are free and open to the public.  The library is at 10 Washington St.

  • Saturday Feb. 8, 1-3 p.m.  Let’s Talk at SoNo.  In the style of TED talks, award-winning career trainer and diversity consultant Simone Morris will discuss what it takes to have a successful career and take leadership in all aspects of one’s life. Register here  or at (203) 899 2790 ext. 15901
  • Tuesday Feb. 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m.   SPED Matters Workshop.  An all-Spanish program in which bi-lingual education consultant Nitza Diaz will help family members and caregivers understand their child’s needs and how to speak with their child’s teachers.  A light supper will be available from 6-6:30 before the program starts. Register here or at (203) 899 2790 ext. 15901
  • Saturday Feb. 15, 9-10 a.m.  Interactive Charlotte’s Web.  Story Explorers presents an interactive adventure based on E.B. White’s beloved tale of  Charlotte the Spider’s efforts to save her friend Wilbur the Pig from being slaughtered.  Children will engage in activities directly related to the themes of the novel. Register here or at (203) 899 2790 ext. 15903
  • Saturday Feb.22, 2:30-3:30 p.m.  Jo-Ann Clayborne Fourth Annual Art Show.  Using feathers, fabric, wood, dried flowers and other elements, nationally-known artist and art instructor Clayborne combines mixed media with vibrant colors.   Countless Fairfield County art students have benefitted from her “Paint, Draw & More!” classes for over 10 years, and she was prominently featured in Furnishing Magazine’s article, “Up Against the Wall”. Register here or at (203) 899 2790 ext. 15901


7 responses to “Summer camp registrations Monday; ‘South Pacific’ next weekend; library events”

  1. Tim Hefferan

    It is my hope and I assume everyone else’s hope that this new shift from the schools running summer camps for children to Parks and Recreation happens seamlessly; kids and families deserve it.

    I am curious why Joe Madaffari, who ran the summer baseball camp for the past 25 years, is not part of this shift in management? The camps that Joe ran always made a profit, unlike some other camps. Yes, Joe is a friend of mine, but he also did a great job of running camps and every family who attended would second that. I hope this decision is not based on seeing Joe‘s salary in the paper and wondering, how the heck can a teacher make that much money? I know the teacher haters out there say that constantly. They forget that roughly 20% of that salary was extra, it was money from the AD position. Hours worked until 8-9:00 pm many nights of the week, and weekends.
    Not just Joe, NHS’ AD the same…

    Some might say, to me, you’re only upset because you’re losing a summer ”gig”. That is partly true. However I also enjoy working with kids prior to when they enter my classroom, always a good

    The fact that Norwalk Public schools no longer wants to be involved in summer camps is fine, I get it. That is clearly not a decision for me to make, not my qualification ! However, I am hearing that parks and recreation is not overly interested in providing teachers a competitive wage to be in charge of children and their well-being during a summer day camp. I can only wonder, is this the old “teachers make too much money“ thing? Sadly, it must be.

    Maybe I am wrong, maybe parks recreation will run much, much better camps. After all, they are raising the price of PF from 600 to 900 (I believe?), thus they must have huge improvements in mind: better staff, better activities, better facilities, better supplies.

    In summary, itis my opinion that teachers are not the enemy, nor are they terribly overpaid. One would think that those in charge at City Hall would take this into consideration.

  2. Tim Hefferan

    My parting comment about “those at City Hall” refers to Recreation, Mayor, Mayor’s assistants, and the people making those decisions- not NPS.

  3. Kathleen Montgomery

    Appreciate it if someone could specifically clarify details of how “Play & Learn has operated at a loss in recent years”.

    Also, in case someone reads the following as a new initiative of Play & Learn, this has been happening for the past decade:

    “The release states that Play & Learn campers will enjoy sports, games, arts exploration, performance arts, pool and beach time, field trips and adventures, plus weekly themes and special events. All site directors are said to be camp programming experts drawn from the ranks of teachers, recreation professionals, and school support staff members”.

    Bottom line: Why, exactly, is this wonderful camp significantly raising the price?

  4. Rowayton parent

    Parks and Recreation has no right moving into Rowayton School. As a Rowayton School parent for many years, they already have a wonderful summer camp there and it’s been there for several years. Pick another school to go to!
    This news has just started to spread in our community in the past few days, and we (Rowayton community) are going to boycott this new camp.
    We have a very popular gym teacher here (Mr. Liberatore) who runs “Gym Games with Mr. Lib.” My kids love it and so does the Rowayton community. Mr. Lib knows our kids better than anyone and has a great staff, many of who go on to babysit our kids after hours and on weekends.
    Mr. Lib’s camp has daily drop-ins and is extremely flexible and well-priced. And, I believe he also offers a few scholarships each year to low-income families, so those children can attend a great camp.
    Have you talked to us parents and Mr. Lib? I highly doubt it! Parks and Rec didn’t do their homework here.

  5. Rowayton parent

    I also want to add that Mr. Lib’s “Rowayton Gym Games” accepts people from all over Norwalk AND surrounding communities. It is more than just the Rowayton community which would be affected.
    We pay for our kids to go to GYM GAMES……not all this other stuff. Our kids love the games they play here and the relationships and friendships that are built…..Wednesday Dodgeball tournaments, Field Day Fridays, carrom tournaments (not sure which day, off-hand, or if I spelled that correctly)
    Question: did P&L choose Rowayton because they saw $$ and how well-attended Mr. Liberatore’s camp was? I think yes.

  6. Shaina

    My son has been participating in the summer baseball camp through public schools for years now and he loves the staff and loves the camp it’s the only camp he does anymore and hes probably aged out of any other ones ….it will be very sad if the staff who have been running this camp are no longer doing it!

  7. Rowayton parent

    Good point…other long-time popular summer camps are affected. My son loved Baseball camp and all my kids loved Gym Games.
    I’ve met Mr. Maddafari at these camps a few times, and he ran them very well. They had other sports as well, if i recall correctly.
    As my kids would say “Stay in your lane” Parks and Rec. All you see is potential money and not what’s good for OUR KIDS OF NORWALK. Go ahead and open camps at other schools that do not have summer camps firmly in place.
    This is not over!

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