Lyme Shores getting ready to roll out new multi-sport summer camp
East Lyme ― Lyme Shores Racquet Club, acquired a year ago by EKM Sports of South Bend, Ind., will introduce a new multi-sport summer camp for youths 5 to 16 years old next month, the latest wrinkle in its ongoing transformation.
The multi-sport camp will open June 19, as will the club’s traditional summer tennis camp, and will feature a 200-foot zip line and such activities as ultimate Frisbee, capture-the-flag, kickball, dodgeball and soccer.
At the end of each day, both the camps’ attendees will hit the club’s outdoor pool.
The club was in the middle of preparations for the multi-sport camp this week, with only one end of the zip line in place. Renovations of the facility have been taking place over the past year, which began with the club’s new ownership announcing it would repurpose a conditioning center and concentrate on tennis and pickleball, the badminton-like sport played with paddles on a court that’s half the size of a tennis court.
“We’ve got a new entryway and a full-line pro shop for all your tennis and pickleball needs,” said Juan Maldonado, the club’s general manager and director of the multi-sport camp.
A lounge also has been added in space formerly occupied by free weights, treadmills, ellipticals and other exercise equipment, all of which were jettisoned along with the club’s former name, “Lyme Shores Tennis & Conditioning Center.”
The change in focus has occasioned a surge in memberships, according to Maldonado, who said the club has added sessions to accommodate the demand, extending the club’s 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours to 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. He said utilization of the club’s six indoor tennis courts has increased from 50% to 72%.
“Tennis always will be our bread and butter,” Maldonado said.
Nevertheless, pickleball continues to catch on at Lyme Shores, as elsewhere. Bobby Schlink, director of Lyme Shores’ tennis camp and junior programming, said the demographics of those playing the sport are starting to trend younger than the club’s tennis enthusiasts, most of whom are 55 and older.
Schlink said the club had its best junior program ever last year in terms of participation and expects to exceed that this year.
Lyme Shores has added two staff members for the multi-sport camp ― Jake Browne and Crystal Aldrich ― and two for the tennis camp ― Emily Coon and Lauren Rahr, who coaches Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s state-championship-winning girls’ tennis team.
All told, the club’s workforce totals 15 people.
A single tennis membership at Lyme Shores is $375 annually while that for pickleball is $130. Summer camp fees range up to $425 a week for full days of tennis camp and $395 a week for full days of the multi-sport camp. For more information, visit the club’s website, lymeshores.com.