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Enjoying Holly Daze during holidays

Molly Shore

While some mothers and fathers were racing around shopping for

last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve, their children were enjoying a

pancake and sausage breakfast prepared for them by Burbank Park,


Recreation and Community Service personnel at Verdugo Park as part of

Holly Daze Day Camp.

The camp is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays except New Year’s

Day throughout the school district’s winter recess, which ends Jan.


2. In addition to giving parents extra time to do last-minute

Christmas shopping, the camp provides working parents with a place to

take their kids, recreation leader Viviana Ardile said.

“That’s where we come in,” she said.

Dominic Matas, 9, a fifth-grader at McKinley Elementary School, is

attending the camp for the fourth year.

“I came here when I was in the first grade, and it’s really

awesome,” he said. “The field trips are great, and we get to do a lot


of cool things. Sometimes the time just flies.”

For working parents, the camp offers extended care until 6 p.m.

for an additional charge. Each day, kids between 5 and 10 participate

in different activities, Ardile said.

"[Tuesday] we went to Mountasia Family Fun Center in Valencia to

play miniature golf, ride the bumper cars and play arcade games,” she

said. “And this morning, Kids at Play, the city’s mobile recreation

van, came here.”


On Wednesday afternoon, the children were busy creating Christmas

wreaths out of paper plates, green tissue paper and red ribbon.

Jasmine Martin, 8, a third-grade student at Emerson Elementary

School, is attending the camp for the first time. Although she enjoys

the camp activities, Jasmine said she would rather be home with her


“It would be more fun to stay home because I’d get to do what I

want to do and eat a lot,” Jasmine said.