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Westport Campers Go With the Flow

WESTPORT, Conn. – Water. Lots of water. That's how counselors at the Westport Weston Family Y's Camp Mahackeno combated the triple-digit heat Friday and kept their campers cool and happy.

"Usually, when temperatures get higher than 80, we double the pool time," said Rory Marino, one of the camp's directors. "On days like [Friday], we take it a step further and try to incorporate water into every activity the kids do."

Campers usually participate in a variety of activities such as sports, arts and crafts, swimming, archery, theater, nature/science, canoeing and a special event.

When it comes to incorporating water into these activities, Marino said, counselors get creative. For example, Friday's planned special event was capture the flag—a game where two teams of campers try to capture the other's flag. This day, sprinklers were set up for the children to run through.

A water relay race was another of Friday's highlights. Campers ran toward a water-filled bin with a plastic cup in hand. When they arrived at the bin, they filled their cups, poured it on themselves, then ran back to pass the cup along to their team members.

Because keeping the kids hydrated is important on hot days, counselors make sure they drink plenty of fluids, Marino said. "On days like this, we tell our counselors to try and make drinking water into a game," she said. "Sometimes, when you tell the kids to drink water, they say they're not thirsty. But if you make it into a fun game, they're more likely to do it."

At the town-run day camps, water activities are also crucial on extremely hot days, said Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy . On Friday, however, McCarthy said most of the campers went home early, as it's been "unusually hot."

"We normally don't encourage parents to pick up their children early, but on Thursday, we sent home a notice giving them the option to pick up their kids at 12:30 p.m.," he said.

How did you and your family stay cool Friday? Please share with us below.

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