The Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department has a plethora of upcoming events for youths and teens as the department highlights some of its summer programming.

The 14th annual Youth Fishing Derby is scheduled Saturday, July 27.

The inaugural Youth Adventure Challenge and Summer Teen Night at the Pickerington Community Pool are both planned for Aug. 3.

The fishing derby is free. It will take place at the Sycamore Creek Park pond, 481 Hereford Road. It is open to anyone ages 6-14. It will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. July 27.

Derby hopefuls, however, are required to register in advance of the event to help parks and rec officials plan for the event and to ensure the pond isn't overcrowded.

Registration may be completed at pickerington.net or in person at Pickerington City Hall, 100 Lockville Road. Additional information can be found online or by calling 614-833-2211.

"This is the 14th annual Youth Fishing Derby," said Greg Pearce, Pickerington recreation director. "The city puts it on to encourage youth the get out and enjoy a morning fishing with their family.

"Kids have caught their first fish at this event and it is a great way to introduce fishing to young children."

Children will bring their own fishing poles, bait of their choice and a pail for their catches.

"The event has lasted 14 years because of the great support we receive from our sponsors and the popularity of the event with the participants," Pearce said. "We often reach the maximum capacity of participants for this event.

"Brian Arnold with Storm Team Construction took the lead on this event for many years, and recently, Don Shaffer and the Shaffer Team at HER Realtors has been the lead sponsor for this event. Without their support and other sponsors, the event wouldn't be what it is today."

Kids will compete in four different age divisions, fishing for bluegill, bass, catfish and crappie. Parents are permitted to assist children but are asked not to be directly involved in the fishing.

"There are prizes for the biggest fish and most fish caught in each age division and an overall winner for all age divisions," Pearce said. "Each participant also receives a bucket of handouts including a T-shirt.

"This is a great event that has many families coming back each year."

Other events

Aug. 3 will be a busy day for parks and rec events.

For the first time, the city is hosting a Youth Adventure Challenge from 10 a.m. to noon in Sycamore Creek Park, 300 Covered Bridge Lane.

The event is for ages 3-14, and involves untimed "races" with obstacle courses of varying difficulty. The course ends with participants climbing a "warped wall."

Registration for the challenge is required by Friday, July 26. It can be completed through the city's website or by visiting City Hall.

"Obstacle-course races have been gaining in popularity in recent years, and we thought it would be a fun, new event for youth to participate in," Pearce said.

"Participants will complete different obstacles along an approximately three-fourths-mile course throughout the lower portion of Sycamore Creek Park."

There is a $5 fee to participate in the challenge, and parents can run the course with their children to assist them.

Parks officials said it will be a "fun" obstacle course, but emphasized the challenge isn't a mud run.

"We wanted to be sure parents knew this wasn't a mud run to avoid any confusion with races such as Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash or Spartan (Race)," Pearce said.

"While similar obstacles may be offered, we will not send the children home covered in mud.

"This is a fun event for kids to challenge themselves. We are not timing individuals to determine a winner, but there will be a medal for completing the course."

After the Youth Adventure Challenge, teens will be able to cool off at the Pickerington Community Pool, 11330 Stonecreek Drive, during the Summer Teen Night, which is slated from 8 to 10 p.m. Aug. 3.

"This is the first year we have offered a designated teen night at the pool," Pearce said. "We have held other family events at the pool such as Dive-In Movies, Family Luau, etc., that teens have attended but wanted to offer an event exclusively for teenagers.

"It is a great way to end the summer before school starts back up in a few weeks."

Summer Teen Night is open to teens ages 13-18. Parents can also attend.

"The event will be limited to 100 teenagers," Pearce said. "However, if parents want to attend to supervise, regular admission applies.

"Regular admission applies unless (people) have a season pass. There will be music and food provided during the event."

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