Councilwoman Jennifer Henderson announced at the recent Ambler Borough Council Meeting that open gym nights would be held on Monday evenings throughout the summer months at Borough Hall.

Open Gym nights to be hosted at Ambler Borough Hall on Mondays through summer

Photo by James Short.

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Councilwoman Jennifer Henderson announced at the recent Ambler Borough Council Meeting that open gym nights would be held on Monday evenings throughout the summer months. The open gym will be held at borough hall.

“It will just be like if the kids want to come and play basketball,” said Henderson of the evening’s planned events. “It is just like a safer alternative to Knights Park.”

Henderson said with the extreme recent temperatures, summer heat can bring a danger to outdoor play spaces.

“When it is hot, then they can have air,” she said, noting children would also be covered from the sun, preventing a risk for sunburn.

Other council members asked if the evening will be staffed by adults.

“Anyone who wants to come out and help, but I will be there,” she said. The open gym is set to last for two hours, running from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “We’re just providing a safe space for kids to come.”

She said while other events operate on different nights, including the Ambler Youth Alliance on Fridays and the Snack Attack events, which are hosted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., also at the borough hall.

Snack Attack offers a healthy snack to Wissahickon School District children through the summer months. Snack bags are handed out at events, at no cost to children. Each bag contains peanut butter or cheese crackers, yogurt, a bag of pretzels or chips, a juice, a piece of fresh fruit and an alternating treat of fruit snacks, pop tarts, or cookies.

The healthy snacks are made possible through the Wissahickon Snack Attack program, which is entirely run by volunteers and funded through donations. Fun activities are also offered at the two sites throughout the summer.

Henderson said she simply wanted to give the kids “more options to do things in the summertime” with an open gym night. There is no cost to the open gym nights.

“You know, it’s tight out here,” she said. “So, this will give them something to do.”

Some council members asked about the liability issue, should a child get hurt during open gym. Henderson said she planned to be there, supervising on all evenings.

“I would not have presented this option if it’s something that I couldn’t take on,” she said.

Councilwoman Karen Sheedy said she wanted to be sure liability issues were addressed, and not just supervision.

“I think the question is just making sure that we’re covered from an insurance standpoint,” said Sheedy. Borough Manager Mary Aversa said she thought it was fine but would check with legal to be sure.

“I’ll double check, but I feel like if we have the playground area where people are playing, and the gym’s open, and they’re playing, I think we’re covered,” said Aversa. “We’re covered for our spaces for our events, but I will confirm.”

Henderson added that volunteers were welcome at both the open gym nights and the Ambler Youth Alliance events. She also noted that Yoga in the Park will begin at Knights Park on June 29 at 10 a.m.  The public is invited to attend.

The recommendation to authorize open gym nights on Mondays in the summer was approved unanimously, with no opposition.


Melissa S. Finley

Melissa is a 26-year veteran journalist who has worked for a wide variety of publications over her enjoyable career. A summa cum laude graduate of Penn State University’s College of Communications with a degree in journalism, Finley is a single mother to two teens, Seamus and Ash, her chi The Mighty Quinn, and the family’s two cats, Archimedes and Stinky. She enjoys bringing news to readers far and wide.

Monday, July 22, 2024




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