Ask Rip

Rip RobertsonRip Robertson is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tucker. He brings to the job years of experience in Parks and Rec, as well as Public Works. Rip is a former Military Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army and is active with the Army Reserve.

Hard to believe it’s already May, isn’t it?

Here in the Parks and Recreation Department, that means we’re gearing up for Summer Camp. Hopefully you’ve heard all the great news surrounding the 2019 Tucker Recreation Center Camp: new recreational and educational activities, expanded swim time, and tuition frozen at last year’s $95 per week level.

Let’s touch on that last point for a second. Ninety-five dollars per week is almost unbeatable when it comes to full-day Summer Camp in the Metro Atlanta area. Your Mayor and City Council set that rate each year and they should be commended for considering affordability for working families. That notwithstanding, Summer Camp tuition at any rate can be a challenge for some families, especially those with multiple children. I want to make sure you know that tuition assistance is available in the form of scholarships to our Summer Camp, as well as other assistance opportunities. Just drop-in or call the Rec Center and our staff will be happy to tell you how to apply.

Adult-Field-DayTo that end, we want to help as many students attend our Summer Camp as possible, regardless of income. That’s why our staff has organized its first-ever Adult Field Day event, a fundraiser to benefit the Summer Camp aid program. We’ve partnered with Friends of Tucker Recreation Center to put on an event that will feature all your classic tailgate games, plus Bubble Soccer, a water balloon toss and much more! For $20 you’ll get admission, all the games, a fresh-off-the-grill cookout dinner (including vegetarian options) and free childcare. That’s right, bring your kids – ages three to 15, and they must be potty-trained – and have them babysat at the Rec Center by qualified child care professionals from the YMCA. All while you play! Tucker Brewing’s going to have some adult beverages for sale and we’ll have a DJ spinning classic tunes from the 80s and 90s. It’s all happening Saturday May 18 from 5-8 p.m. at Tucker Recreation Center.

I want to finish this month’s column with a quick note to tell you how our Parks and Recreation family is about to grow. In the budget just passed by the Mayor and City Council, we were approved for three new – and very necessary – positions in the coming year: a dedicated Parks and Rec Receptionist/administrative assistant and two operations assistants. The first position will be critical in greeting and assisting folks as they enter and leave the Recreation Center, as well as performing key administrative tasks that will make our operations more efficient. As for the other two, think of them as a park patrol. Because of their presence in our parks, you’re going to see a difference in the level of cleanliness, maintenance and overall safety. I’ve seen it in countless municipalities: this kind of position is a game changer.

I hope you’ll come out and see us May 11 at Tucker Day. Stop by our booth and, if you haven’t already, sign our Lead the Pack pledge to keep your dogs on-leash in Tucker’s parks.

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