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Mayor Bowser Launches DC Into Summer by Highlighting Recreational and Educational Resources for Youth

Wednesday, June 21, 2023
District Officials Highlight the Start of Summer Camps, the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, and Other Resources to Keep Youth Engaged and Active This Summer

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and District officials were joined by community members to mark the end of the school year and launch into summer with the help of ‘Stomp Rockets’ from the Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) Boost: Rocket Camp. During the event, Mayor Bowser highlighted educational and recreational resources that are available to youth to stay engaged, active, and safe this summer.

“We are grateful to our teachers, principals, and school staff for another successful school year. Now, it is critical that we work together, as a community, to keep our young people safe and engaged throughout the summer,” said Mayor Bowser. “We will have more than 14,000 teens and young adults earning and learning through MBSYEP. We will have thousands of kids and teens in DPR summer camps. But there’s always more we can do, and that is where we are calling on families, and community groups, and faith communities to work with us to make sure our young people have a safe and fun summer so that they can start next school year healthy and happy.”

This year, DPR is offering 13,000 summer camp slots for youth at over 60 locations in the District, with the first summer camp sessions starting Monday, June 26 and ending Friday, August 18. At this time, families can still enroll children and teens in Discovery Camp, Boost Camps, and Basketball or Football Sports Camp, with additional very limited availability for Little Explorers Camp. To register visit

The four summer camps still open for registration include:

  • Little Explorers (ages 3-5)
    Little Explorers Camp uses a theme-based curriculum, taught by experienced early childhood development staff, with a staff to child ratio of 1:4 to 1:5. Children will participate in daily morning meetings, arts and crafts activities, explorations, Drop-Everything-And-Read (DEAR), games, sports, and choice activities.
  • Discovery Camp (ages 6-10)
    Discovery Camp uses a theme-based curriculum to help children get to know themselves and the world around them. Children will participate in daily morning meetings, arts and crafts activities, explorations, Drop-Everything-And-Read (DEAR), games, sports, and choice activities.
  • Sports Camps (ages 8-13)
    Sport Camps will be aligned to DPR’s mantra of “Go for Gold.” Each day participants will participate in a variety of activities that will encourage and support movement, personal growth, and environmental stewardship. Participants will be taught basic to advanced sport-specific skills. Sports vary depending on recreation center, including basketball, boxing, cheer, tennis, multi-sport, and more.
  • Boost Camps (ages 11-13)
    Boost camps offer specialty enrichment camps with an academic component. Among the specialty camps offered this year are: Rocket Camp, Robotics Camp, Esports Camp, Journalism Camp, Improv Camp and CSI.

Before and after care sign up is also open, and registration is available only to registered camp participants.

“We’re so excited for what we have in store for our young people this summer,” said Interim Director of DPR Thennie Freeman. “We’re offering unique camp experiences - from our Boost educational activity-based camps for tweens, to hosting a full schedule of fun programs and unique Friday night events like Late Night Hype, our carnival-style party for families.”

During the event, the Mayor also highlighted that on Monday, June 26 the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) program will begin. The Department of Employment Services (DOES) will employ approximately 14,000 youth at 700 sites across the District for six weeks this summer through MBSYEP. For 44 years, MBSYEP has been providing a fair shot to young people in DC. Each year, the program offers youth the opportunity to earn while they learn and explore potential career paths. The program partners with hundreds of employers to provide relevant training and guidance to DC’s youth to help them develop the positive work habits and skills necessary to secure future employment.

Last year, nearly 20,000 youth applied for MBSYEP and over 13,000 youth participated in the program; 56% of last year’s participants were residents of Wards 7 and 8. This summer, the program is getting back to more in-person placements, and 90% of placements are expected to be in person. MBSYEP follows an earn-and-learn model, and last summer, wages for all age groups participants increased. This summer, wages for the oldest age group will increase to $17/hour, in line with the District’s minimum wage. The program ends on Friday, August 4.

In addition to DPR summer camps and MBSYEP, other recreational opportunities available for youth and young adults to stay engaged and active this summer, include:

Spray Parks and Outdoor Pools:

District spray parks are open from 10 am to 8 pm, every day through, Monday, September 4. To view a full list of spray parks and locations, visit

District outdoor pools are open from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday until June 25. Starting Monday, June 26, all outdoor pools will operate on individual summer schedules, six days a week. To view a full list of outdoor pools and operating schedules, visit


Hip Hop Dance classes (ages 8-16): Register
Soccer (ages 3-16): Register 
Pickleball (ages 22+): Register
Tennis (child and adult): Register 
Gymnastics (under 18): Register
Lacrosse (ages 5-14): Register 
CO-ED Kickball (ages 18+): Register 
Trailblazer Women’s Basketball League @ Deanwood: Register


Bike Spin (ages 18+): Register
Strength (ages 18+): Register 
Bootcamp Fitness (ages 18+): Register 
Fitness Series @ Banneker (ages 18+): Register 
Yoga and Tai Chi (ages 18+): Register 
Zumba (ages 18+): Register 
Cardio Kick (ages 18+): Register


Learn to Swim (ages 6 months and up): Register 
Aquatic Fitness (ages 18 and up): Includes deep water aerobics, shallow water aerobics, hydrokick, hydrospin, and more. Register
Competitive Swim (ages 5-18 & Senior): Register 
Youth Water Polo (ages 9-15): Register 

Late Night Drip/Hype

Late Night Drip and Late Night Hype are weekly carnival-style community parties that take place all summer on Fridays. Late Night Drip is a late-night pool party with inflatables, music, and games. Late Night Hype offers families a myriad of recreation activations, music, food, and fun. The next event is a Late Night Hype this Friday, June 23 at Bald Eagle Recreation Center. View the full schedule of events.

To view a list of all summer camps, resources, and activities, visit

Social Media:
Mayor Bowser Twitter: @MayorBowser
Mayor Bowser Instagram: @Mayor_Bowser
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