Adventure guide your passport to summer fun

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Looking for a way to keep your kids healthy and active this summer? Give them a Vancouver Summer Adventure guide: a passport to free or low-cost community activities and summer fun.

Whether it's planting a garden, watching a cooking demonstration at a farmers market, bike riding along a trail, joining a summer reading program or helping with a park cleanup, VSA has something for every child.

"The goal of Vancouver Summer Adventure is to get families to eat smart, play hard, experience nature, learn and serve," said Tricia Mortell, Clark County Public Health's chronic disease prevention manager. "Public Health and its community partners are piloting this program in central Vancouver to connect families to existing resources and help kids explore and thrive during the summer months."

As they participate in local activities and events, kids will get their guides stamped (much like a passport) and turn them in at the end of summer for the chance to win prizes. Central Vancouver schools (Washington, Roosevelt, Ogden, King, or Harney) will compete for the highest percentage of student participation and the chance to win a $2,000 prize toward physical education.

Anyone can participate in Vancouver Summer Adventure, whether or not they live in Central Vancouver. Passport-guides are available throughout the summer at Sterling Bank (3301 Fourth Plain), Vancouver Community Library, and Marshall Community Center. Guides need to be turned in by Sept. 13 at either Sterling Bank or Marshall Community Center to be eligible for individual prize drawings.

Community partners have committed resources toward preplanned activities and events, sponsorship dollars, and prize donations. In a unique partnership, the U.S. Forest Service will host kid and family field trips to Mount St. Helens.

Mayor Tim Leavitt will help celebrate the Vancouver Summer Adventure kickoff event from 1 to 3 p.m. June 15 at Marshall Community Center. Bring your family and dance, learn about healthy snacks, hear an award-winning children's story, hunt for ladybugs, join a service project supporting the park, and much more. Kids will enjoy the chance to meet Smokey Bear and win prizes.

To stay up-to-date on the latest activities and events this summer, follow us at www.facebook.com/VancouverSummerAdventure.