VERNON -- Although the town pool has closed for the season, Vernon Recreation Department has not gone dormant.
Some fall programs -- including recreational basketball and teen night at the Vernon Elementary gymnasium -- are set to begin next week.
And the department also is expanding its offerings: For example, a new Brazilian jiu jitsu program offered by a Keene, N.H.-based instructor is starting soon.
"We’re really fortunate with the facility we have," town Recreation Director Seth Deyo said of the school gym. "And it’s always our goal to offer programs for a variety of interests."
Deyo has been adding information to the department’s website, www.vernonrec.com, about programs including the new offering courtesy of Daniel Caulfield of Flow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
"He’s an accomplished instructor who holds a black belt," Deyo said. "We’re excited to have it here."
The program runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Oct. 29. The cost is $55 monthly and $12 for a walk-in, with one free; Deyo said participants don’t have to start with the first session.
Registration information is available on the department’s website or by calling 802-254-9251.
Also new this year -- though previously held in Vernon -- is a baton-twirling program happening Wednesdays after school.
"We ran it years ago, and we just started it again this year in September," Deyo said.
Additionally, a new Red Cross baby-sitting course is in the works, Deyo said.
And there are returning programs including after-school gatherings running from Monday through Friday. More than 50 students attended those sessions at least once last year, and Deyo said he expects a similar turnout this year.
"It’s a strong program," he said. "Kids can come and have a snack, we can help them with their homework, we can get them involved in some activities."
"Teen nights" are scheduled to begin Monday, with the gym open from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for students in grades seven through 10.
"It’s just time that we reserve for teens only to use the gym for anything they want to do that’s active," Deyo said.
More information on other programs is available on the department’s website.
There also is a Vernon Halloween party planned for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the elementary school, and Deyo mentioned that the town’s preschool -- which is run by the recreation department -- still is accepting a few registrations for the current school year.
It’s all part of the mix for a department that -- like any other in Vernon -- is the subject of budget-cut speculation given the pending shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
Vernon Selectboard members have said spending reductions should be expected in the fiscal year 2015 budget, for which they have begun to hold planning sessions.
But Deyo, while not directly addressing those financial concerns, said the recreation department continues to try to appeal to a broad audience.
"We offer programs that the entire community can utilize," Deyo said. "We try to offer some type of enrichment for everybody."
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.