Dallas Park and Recreation Department is increasing its outreach to teens with a series of free late-night activities and free camps.
Park and recreation officials will introduce teens 13-17 to the brand-new TREC program from 7 – 10 p.m. on Friday, May 31 at three city of Dallas recreation centers: Cummings, Lake Highlands and Nash-Davis.
When asked what youth can expect at the TREC kickoff, Crystal Ross, park and recreation assistant director, said, “Music, food, friends, and lots of fun. We’ll have selfie booths, game stations, music, karaoke and other amusements so they can remember what a great time they had with their friends.”
An exciting aspect of TREC is the nighttime recreation that will be available at five recreation centers from 7 - 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays beginning June 14.
TREC activities will give youth lifetime experiences in visual and performing arts, community service, health and wellness, leadership and life skills, and technology/STEM. The department’s Teen Tech Center will be onsite giving teens time to explore video and music production, photography and software development.
Ross said the park department is working with other city of Dallas departments including the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Youth Commission and area youth-serving organizations to provide additional recreation and educational opportunities for TREC.
“Teens have their own special interests that often are different from their older and younger peers. What TREC is offering are social and recreational options focusing on their enjoyments, wants and needs,” said Ross. “TREC is helping Dallas Park and Recreation expand the types of programs we offer and the hours that we can interact with them.”
In addition, roving camps will be offered at six recreation centers Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants 15 and older will have free access to fitness rooms at the recreation centers to complement TREC healthy living activities.
In April, the Dallas City Council provided the park and recreation department with an additional $500,000 to expand and enhance teen programs and services throughout Dallas. “We appreciate the council’s support of our efforts to reach this population with new ideas and activities. With City Council’s assistance, we are building on our existing programming model to create this new opportunity,” said Ross.
With the city’s teen curfew in effect, she hopes that TREC will be instrumental in reducing the number of citations teens and their parents receive annually.