S’more fun: YMCA kicks off Friday night summer series

Staff photo by Adam Urquhart Derek and Jabier Cruz paddle ashore after spending time together out on Naticook Lake during the YMCA of Greater Nashua Friday Night Live family event in their series at Camp Sargent in Merrimack.

MERRIMACK – The YMCA of Greater Nashua hosted their first Friday Night Live family event in their series at Camp Sargent in Merrimack.

The Friday event drew about 500 kids and adults out for a cookout campfire night, featuring safe sun and early night sky-viewing through large telescopes set up by the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, swimming and boating on Lake Naticook, s’mores, giant games and a professional musician leading campfire songs.

“This one exploded with interest,” Elizabeth Covino, director of Community Relations Elizabeth Covino said. “Just under 500 people pre-registered, and in the past we got 30 or 40 families, so this is significantly larger. We’re happy about that.”

She said this is the second summer for this free series of family events going from Camp Sargent, the YMCA of Greater Nashua and Merrimack YMCA. They try to mix it up and offer different activities that are of interest to families and children of all ages. However, they ask that people pre-register in advance because with a lot of their events they have to get supplies and food together to accommodate attendees.

“I think people that came last year enjoyed it and tuned in this year, but I also think we promoted it a lot,” Covino said.

Staff photo by ADAM URQUHART Nathan Lott looks at the sun through a special telescope while his mother, Jessica Lott, and Paul Winalski, New Hampshire Astronomical Society secretary, watch on during the YMCA of Greater Nashua first Friday Night Live family event in their series at Camp Sargent in Merrimack.

She said officials really put the message out this year, but that the increase in interest may also be the result of families who came last year telling others about it. There will be another event in the series next Friday at the Merrimack YMCA, featuring an outdoor movie night and water games.

“We’re just really happy we’re able to offer events for families during vacations (summer vacation) so we have fun things within our community that people can come to and don’t have to pay for, meet other families and have fun,” Covino said. “It’s open not just to Y members – it’s open to everybody.”

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.

Jeremy, Keagan, Nicki and Corinne Hitt gather around a campfire to roast some marshmallows during the YMCA of Greater Nashua first Friday Night Live family event in their series at Camp Sargent in Merrimack.