In Tyler, looking ahead to the future means investing in young people today. Keeping kids active is a goal Tyler takes seriously.
“Because the community has a little bit slower lifestyle, family is a priority here,” says Waterson Calhoun, president of Tyler Little Dribblers, a popular Tyler youth basketball league. “People invest in kids here. And that is something that sets the community apart.”
The focus on children in Tyler is demonstrated by the sheer number of parents who volunteer as coaches in local youth sports leagues such as Little Dribblers.
“I am always surprised at the number of dads who spend time on helping these teams,” Calhoun says. “Most people see the value in taking up that kind of time with your kids. But here, our activities actually allow people to prioritize that way.” Calhoun says youth programs have an emphasis on coaching. Tyler’s youth athletic programs benefit from the presence of college sports, drawing coaches from that environment.
“There’s a lot of sharing of ideas between teams,” Calhoun says. “We are very lucky with the quality of some of the coaches we get.”
While strong coaching helps Tyler’s children learn leadership and teamwork, an array of fun and educational opportunities are also available.
Discovery Science Place
Discovery Science Place, a children’s museum that offers a hands-on experience focused on math‚ science‚ technology and culture, is another popular activity for kids. During summer months‚ Discovery Science Place offers more than 60 summer camp courses‚ attracting more than 300 students who learn about a variety of subjects.
“We love‚ love‚ love their camps‚” says Holly Short‚ a mother of two and a museum member for more than nine years. “I can’t say enough about them. I don’t know where they come up with the teachers‚ but they are great.”
Summer camp is another favorite activity for many young people in Tyler. Sky Ranch, Pine Cove Christian Camps and Rockin’ C Ranch are three Christian family camps that hold promises of s’mores, sleeping bags, swimming and stargazing. The camps offer youth and family programs at various times throughout the year that include outdoor adventure activities.
The community’s parks and recreation departments help maintain excellent sports venues, from top-notch soccer fields to a number of parks and fitness trails.
“Tyler doesn’t have recognized parks because our whole community is a big park basically,” Calhoun says. “Tyler is a great place as far as resources set up for kids.”
Read about more activities that are fun for the whole family in Tyler, TX.