By Paul Burton, WBZ-TVBy Paul Burton

NEEDHAM (CBS) – A local family is trying to fill a gap for kids who can’t go to summer camp. The DeMaria family of Needham say basic backyard games are what make summer vacation so memorable and fun.

“Remember all the fun you used to have in your backyard? People don’t do that anymore,” Gary DeMaria said as dozens of kids ran around his backyard.

As part of his 15-year-old son Luke’s summer project, they turned their backyard into a two week summer program for kids from kindergarten to the fourth grade.

They call it “The Amazing Backyard.”

“It’s just a bunch of activities they can do,” Luke said.

Their backyard if fully equipped with a trampoline, waterslide, puzzles and games.

The family originally called it the Backyard Camp but the city of Needham wouldn’t allow the word “camp” because it’s not certified.

“We can’t call ourselves a camp. We had to take the word camp out of the name. A camp meets five days a week; we meet four days a week.”

With those important changes the city allowed him to open up his summer program.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports

“You have to have paperwork CORI, SORI and personal health records for everybody and make sure people are certified,” Needham Public Health Nurse Donna Vigliano said.

So for just $25 dollars a day, kids can be kids.

“There’s just so many choices and usually it would cost so much money for this. And me and my mom found this cheaper than we expected,” said 9-year-old Declan Thompson.

There is still plenty of time and space to sign up for the Amazing Backyard. The program begins next week and will run for the next two weeks.

Paul Burton

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