School’s out for the summer, and area pools are ready to enjoy a longer summer season than in previous years.
Public pools in the area, including Reeves Community Center, Homeplace Recreational Park and Beechnut Park, opened this week, an earlier opening than in past seasons, due to local schools releasing before Memorial Day.
Reeves Community Center
Reeves Community Center, a non-profit recreational facility, operated by Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, features an indoor and outdoor pool. The outdoor pool has a diving area with two diving boards. The center offers year-round swimming lessons.
Open swim times at Reeves are scheduled for Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. The pool is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
The outdoor swimming pool at Reeves opened Thursday to a good crowd, Mount Airy Parks and Recreation Director Catrina Alexander said. “We are looking forward to a great summer season at Reeves.”
The parks and recreation department operates two summer child care programs with multiple options, including half day camps, two week camps, as well as a day camp and park program. Children enrolled in the summer camps swim each day at Reeves, alternating between the park program and day camp groups.
Thursday was the summer camp kids’ first time swimming in the outdoor pool, and the excitement was in the air with children laughing, splashing and playing in the water. Several families with kids also were swimming in both the kiddie pool and the large pool.
Cathy Cloukey, aquatics supervisor, said Reeves conducted 600 swim lessons last year, even with a shorter summer season. She also said Reeves is looking for a part-time lifeguard, as well as a water aerobics instructor.
Memberships are available for the Reeves Community Center, with discounts for corporate members, as well as day passes at $7 for residents outside the city limits and $5 for residents inside the city limits.
For more information about Reeves Community Center, visit mountairyparksandrecreation.com or call 786-8313.
Beechnut Family Campground
Beechnut Park and Family Campground is located off of Red Brush Road and George Chandler Road, at 315 Beechnut Lane.
The pool opens today and will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The cost is $7 per person and ages 2 and younger enter free. Ages 3 to 5 cost $4 each. Family passes are $145 for two people, $200 for three, and $50 for each additional person. Single passes are available for $80.
Patricia Tolbert, the owner of Beechnut, said they have chairs and umbrellas available for use on a limited basis, as well as a snack bar, playground, horseshoes, volleyball, a basketball goal, fishing, picnic tables and shelters. They also operate a campground, which Tolbert said is already “fully booked for this weekend.”
Beechnut features three outdoor pools, one with a rope swing, and another with a diving board. Beechnut also has a water slide, Hurricane Hazel, but Tolbert said it will not be available for opening weekend. She said repairs are needed for the water slide’s pool.
Call Beechnut for more information at 320-3802 or visit beachnutcampground.com.
Homeplace Recreational Park
Homeplace Recreational Park features the largest pool in Surry County, which has been open for 29 years. The pool and campground are owned and operated by the Key family, a group of seven brothers and sisters.
Elwin Key said they expect a “good, long season and are looking forward to a busy and exciting summer.”
Year before last, Memorial Day set record numbers for pool attendance.
In 29 years, Key said they have “well-surpassed one million visitors” and average around 35,000 to 40,000 people visiting Homeplace each summer.
“We always have a big mix, both visitors and locals. We have people coming to the pool from 60 and 70 miles around, from as far as King, Winston-Salem, Statesville, High Point, Greensboro, and up into Virginia. We’ve also had campers from every state in the U.S., including Alaska, and even people from other countries who come here and rent campers; we’ve had visitors from England, Germany, South America, even Australia,” Key explained.
Homeplace offers a large pool with rope swing, water slide and separate diving area. It also has a gradual-entry, carpeted children’s area, a snack bar, campground, arcade, picnic shelters, waterfall and hiking trails.
On Friday and Saturday nights during the summer, Homeplace’s 18-hole miniature golf course is open from 7 to 9 p.m.
The pool opened Thursday to a crowd of at least 180, according to Pepper Galyean, office staff member. Galyean also said the campground is full for the weekend.
The pool will be open seven days per week through Sept. 2, but Monday through Thursday hours may vary after August. The pool and snack bar are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The water slide and grill are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All days and hours are weather-permitting, and Galyean said to call before traveling to the pool if bad weather is forecast.
The cost to swim at Homeplace is $7.50 per day for ages 5 and older, $4 after 4 p.m. Ages 2 to 4 enter for $3.50, $2 after 4 p.m. Children 2 and younger swim free.
Umbrella and chair rentals are available, as well as season pool passes for $75 and family passes at a discounted rate.
For more information about Homeplace Recreational Park and Campground, call 374-5173 or visit homeplacepark.com.
Reach Jessica Johnson at email@example.com or 719-1933.