GOFFSTOWN — With the summer Olympics in full swing in London, kids got a taste of a smaller-scale competition of their own at the Candy Bar Olympics, held Friday at Barnard Park.
The event, co-sponsored by the Goffstown Public Library and the Parks and Recreation department, featured relays, games and other field day activities, said Patti Penick, head of youth services at the library.
The top three finishers in each event received candy bars for their efforts.
Penick said that when the library staff was drumming up ideas for summer programming, they wanted to feature an event with an Olympic theme, to honor the summer games.
When they found out that a similar program is done each year through the Parks and Recreation's Summer Playground Program, Penick said it made sense for the two groups to work together.
“When we found out they already did something, we decided to join forces,” Penick said.
With events like Oreo cookie stacking, water balloon tosses and wheelbarrow races, Parks and Recreation Program Supervisor Stasia Hurley said the games weren't necessarily geared toward future Olympic all-stars.
“They're not highly competitive, high pressure games, they're just fun,” Hurley said. “Your best athlete isn't always going to win.”
Hurley said the summer campers had done more regular field trips in past years, but participation had been dwindling. The group now spends Fridays doing special activities like tie dying, bowling, and “Minute to Win It” activities, similar to games played on the popular TV show.
The Summer Playground Program has undergone some changes in recent years. Previously offered at no charge to families, the department now requires a formal registration and charges $60 per week for the Monday through Friday program.
According to Hurley, a more structured registration process means a better handle on how many children will move through the program, allowing for more consistency in staffing, and better supervision of campers.
“Changing the program around has helped us better staff the program, which is huge,” Hurley said.
Kids at the Candy Bar Olympics also received participation awards for completing the program, courtesy of the library.
Penick said there are plenty of other library-sponsored activities going on throughout the summer. For more information, go to www.goffstownlibrary.com