Some camps will continue on during COVID-19 summer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 11, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

SALISBURY — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still some summer enrichment opportunities for kids this year.

Notably, for students looking to indulge their passions and learn some interesting science concepts this year, Rowan-Salisbury Schools is still hosting its weeklong Horizons Unlimited camps, albeit with a twist. This year the camps are all remote. Some of them, like the culinary camp, require families to pick up supplies, but all the activities are designed to be done at home. Students can explore wildlife habitats, coding, the science of gross-ness and disgust, video game design and more.

Horizons Director Amy Pruitt said the staff had to pivot and adapt to the changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, this year’s camps are subjects that work from home. Activities are spaced out every day.

The Horizons camps are already running. Cost and dates vary by camp, but each camp costs less than $100, and all but two cost less than $50.

For families who need child care or are still trying to get kids out of the house this summer, the Hurley YMCA is still running its in-person camps, but with some changes. Hurley YMCA Executive Director Richard Reinholz said capacity for the camp has been lowered, and enrollment has been slow this year. Though, it is picking up.

“Now we’re at about 25 to 30,” Reinholz said.

The kids would normally be playing sports and taking educational field trips to places like public libraries. but those activities are not possible right now.

Reinholz said the facility is following all of the state’s requirements and recommendations for child care as well as those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We have kids in certain cohorts and they stay within the cohort, there is no intermingling,” Reinholz said. “A significant amount of cleaning and social distancing is in place. We’re not rotating into different areas like we used to in the past.”

During a normal year, kids would all perform a group activity and eat breakfast in the morning before separating into groups and doing other activities at stations, swimming and sports. This year kids are not leaving the building outside of going to the Y’s athletic facility, and as groups move between stations everything is sanitized.

“We’re just happy and blessed to be able to serve our community with child care in a safe environment,” Reinholz said.

The Y also has a regional partnership with Novant Health to help provide services to the health network’s employees

The Y is not technically open, but the front desk is being manned so families can come in to get information. There are some outdoor and virtual fitness classes being offered by the facility.

Catawba College will also be running a number of its youth sports camps, but football has been canceled.

Catawba’s annual Discover Youth Theology institute has moved virtual this year, and will run from July 5-10 and 12-17. The institute is a chance for middle and high school students to discover more about themselves and explore their faith.

Salisbury Symphony Executive Director Bill Blucher said the organization’s annual strings camp has been canceled and a number of other small camps and programs have been cancelled, too.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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