Parents of schoolage kids looking for summer day camp options could easily spend hundreds of dollars to keep their children swimming, running and jumping this year.

Or, they could check out the St. Paul Police Athletic League.

From baseball to basketball and biking to bass fishing, PAL offers a variety of activities at no cost to kids and their families. Another benefit? Neighborhood kids get to know their neighborhood cops in a fun environment.

Police Athletic League programs are for children ages 6 to 14 and run from June through August. St. Paul Police officers serve as coaches and chaperones. This summer's activities include:

  • Baseball—Players will learn the fundamentals of hitting, throwing and catching.
  • Basketball—Players will learn the fundamentals of shooting, passing, rebounding and dribbling from Police Officer and Johnson Senior High School varsity boys head coach Vern Simmons.  
  • Soccer—Players will be taught individual skills and team fundamentals.
  • Biking—Police officers will lead weekly bike rides from the McDonough playground and the Highwood Hills playgrounds.
  • Fishing—Police officers will partner with the National Park Service and Minnesota DNR to take kids on weekly fishing trips to area lakes and along the Mississippi River. 

Activities will take place at Saint Paul recreation centers. To find out which activities will be held in a particular neighborhood, stop by that neighborhood's rec center. PAL programs will be at the following centers:

Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave; Battle Creek Recreation Center, 75 S. Winthrop St. S.; Conway Recreation Center, 2090 Conway Ave.; Edgcumbe Recreation Center, 320 Griggs St. S.; El Rio Vista Recreation Center, 179 Robie St. E.; Hancock Recreation Center, 1610 Hubbard Ave.; Hazel Park Recreation Center, 945 Hazel St. N.; Highwood Hills Recreation Center, 2188 Londin Ln.; McDonough Recreation Center, 1544 Timberlake Rd.; Merriam Park Recreation Center, 2000 St. Anthony Ave.; Newell Park, 900 Fairview Ave. N.; North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 St. Albans St. N.; Phalen Recreation Center, 1000 E. Wheelock Parkway; Rice Recreation Center, 1021 Marion St. and West Minnehaha Recreation Center, 685 W. Minnehaha Ave. 

Families also may register for baseball, basketball and soccer on the St. Paul Parks and Rec website, http://stpaul.gov/index.aspx?nid=3244.

Registration is free, and all participants will receive a Police Athletic League T-shirt.