Columbus Bicycle User Map Public Open HouseMarch 7, 2009
Could Columbus Commons celebrate Outdoor Education?March 18, 2009
Check it out! Camp Fire is taking over Tuttle Recreation Center, AND they are starting Family Nature Clubs there!
March 11, 2009 3:19 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Another Columbus recreation building will live again.
The doors at Tuttle Recreation Center will swing open March 28, six weeks after the city closed
it and 10 other centers in a cost-cutting move.
Camp Fire USA Central Ohio Council has worked out a deal with the city to run Tuttle and offer
classes, open gym, day camps and Camp Fire programs. The city will continue to operate the center's
outdoor swimming pool in the summer.
Tuttle is the second recreation program that has been saved. The city's senior-citizen craft
store, the Golden Hobby Shop in German Village, is staying open with the help of volunteers and
money that its board had saved.
"It's wonderful they're going to keep Tuttle open," said Nicole Takas, whose children have taken
classes there for several years. "But I'm saddened that the city of Columbus couldn't come through
for their citizens."
Catherine Girves, director of the University Area Enrichment Center, is pleased that
neighborhood children will have a place to hang out and take classes, but she's upset about the
loss of longtime staff members who know the children well.
"That's hard to replace," she said. "The programming isn't just about what we're doing during a
certain class. It's about the relationships we build there."
Recreation and Parks Director Alan McKnight said he's working with other groups to reopen other
shuttered centers, but plans aren't far enough along to give further details.
Camp Fire has budgeted $125,000 to run the center, which served more than 57,000 residents last
year. The money will come from a $50,000 Columbus Foundation grant, memberships, fees for some
classes and Camp Fire funding, said Amy Boyd, chief executive officer of the Central Ohio
An operations director and a program director will be in charge.
"It's really important for our youth to have a positive outlet, to have someplace to literally
go and play," Boyd said. Yearly memberships will be $15 per child, $25 per adult and $45 for a
family, with payment help for those who need it, she said.
A class schedule hasn't been finalized but will include pottery, dance, tennis, gymnastics and
martial arts for youngsters as well as art and exercise classes for adults. Friday evening will be
family night, and activities such as teen night and dads' basketball night will be offered, Boyd
The center also will offer Camp Fire programming such as family nature clubs, service projects
for teens and clubs for certain age groups. The nonprofit organization, once known as Camp Fire
Girls, is coed and concentrates on reuniting children with nature.