St. Thomas More premiers first summer camp

All families are welcome at the parish’s new program for kids. Activities begin May 30.

St. Thomas More summer camp
Students at St. Thomas More Elementary School will have the opportunity to have summer camp at the school with their friends.

By Kristin Vaughn-Petersen

For years, families of one community school and church had to seek out summer activities for their children outside of their own backyard. That all changes this summer for St. Thomas More (STM) families, as well as the community at large. The program entitled “Summer Cyclones” is offering a summer full of fun at reasonable prices, from May 30 through August 3.

In a recent chat with Tim Waris, parish manager at STM, he described his vision for the new summer program. He said he feels strongly about St. Thomas More’s position as an anchor of the neighborhood and that it should be alive and vibrant. Waris wants to ‘bring life back” to the church during the summer months and wants everyone in and outside the parish to “see how great St. Thomas More is.”  

The parish is excited to support this summer camp endeavor. Waris noted the Men of STM have an upcoming golf tournament to help defray the activity costs of the camp. To that end, families will only pay $100 toward the cost of activities.  

Waris stated the program will be patterned after the St. Therese camp located north of the river. To assist in bringing this new program to South Kansas City, he enlisted the help of Hope Metzgar, who teaches 7th and 8th grades at St. Therese and has spent a couple years working in their summer program. She loves working with kids and is excited to bring this program to STM.  

Summer Cyclones is for those entering kindergarten through 6th grade in the fall. There will be two soccer camps, a golf camp, Spanish classes and more, along with field trips to places like Coco Key Water Resort, the library, Deanna Rose Farmstead and Mercury Gym.  

In addition to the field trips, a part of each day will be spent on math and reading. Campers also will learn about different countries and cultures. The theme for this summer is “Travel the World” and Metzgar and her staff will introduce a different country each week through lessons on art, food, music and language.  

When asked about opportunities for children with special needs, Metzgar noted that about 85 percent of the summer staff are educators of different grade levels and they will be able to make accommodations as needed. Staffing ratio is at least 1:8 with additional staff available.

The program, located at Santa Fe and Holmes, also meets various scheduling needs of parents, who can send their children for as few or many weeks of the summer as they choose. The hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The camp is open to all community families, regardless of church affiliation. Pricing is shown below, with discounts available for multiple children:

2 days:  $85

3 days:  $130

5 days:  $180

For additional information, contact Metzgar at

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