Residents rollick on inflatable park

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Xtreme Explorer campers enjoy the town’s new inflatable water park installed this summer. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)

A gaggle of summer campers bounced with excitement at Bayside Beach last Thursday, tightening lifejackets with care as they wiggled their toes in the sand.

On the counselors’ go, the dozen-or-so kiddos raced into the reportedly “freezing cold” lake water toward an inflatable waterslide and climbing structure anchored 200 feet offshore.

Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday, the pop-up waterpark has become a hit with residents, according to Mike LaPan, Colchester Parks and Recreation marketing and recreation specialist.

A $5 fee will grant guests taller than 48 inches a half-hour timeslot on the floating structure, escorted and supervised by a lifeguard. All visitors must use a lifejacket provided by parks and rec, LaPan said, and groups cannot exceed 15 people.

Choruses of “Wait for me!” and “Hey, watch this!” sounded through the air as the fourth through seventh-graders of the Xtreme Explorer Camp scaled the pyramid-style jungle gym and raced toward the towering slide via a buoyant runway.

One camper came down with a case of cold feet as she peered down the slope, eventually deciding to take the plunge anyway, her smile wide as she hit the water.

The waterslide and climbing structure will close for the season on August 27 but will return next year, LaPan said.

For more information visit bit.ly/2uOonaJ or call 264-5640.

An Xtreme Explorer camper rockets down an inflatable waterslide on Malletts Bay last week. The parks and recreation department added the slide and a floating jungle gym, both open to the public, to the waterfront earlier this summer. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)

Xtreme Explorer campers help each other climb on the town’s inflatable water park. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)