Parks and recreation departments prepare for in-person summer camps

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Over the next few weeks, park and recreation departments in Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico will welcome kids for in-person summer camps.

Starting June 28, the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will start its youth summer camps for children ages 6 to 12.

Tamara Jenkins, public information manager for Richmond’s department, says all of its summer camps were cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Jenkins says they were able to come back later in the summer to host pop-up camps at various community centers.

This year, Jenkins says they will run summer camps for eight weeks. A big difference this year? Holding camp outdoors.

“We’re definitely excited that we’re able to bring back summer camp,” she said.

Masks will be required for campers and staff. Jenkins says the mask requirement will change when outdoors, depending on the activity for campers.

“If they’re in close proximity and they’re doing an arts and crafts project, you’ll probably have the mask on,” Jenkins said. “If they’re able to spread out in a kickball game, that’s going to be a different story.”

Jenkins says they will also reduce the number of campers at each sites to keep kids in small groups.

“Once campers are assigned to that pod, they are with the same campers and the same staff for the entire eight weeks,” she said.

Jenkins says slots are still open for the summer play camp, which costs $150 for city residents and $170 for non-city residents. Registration is currently open for city residents and will open for non-city residents on June 15.

Jenkins says the pop camps require no registration and will announced over the next couple of weeks.

For more information about Richmond’s parks and recreation department, click here.

Starting July 6, Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation will start its Kids on the Move summer camp.

Ericka Bynum, principal recreation specialist for Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, says a recent survey sent to parents shows a big demand for in-person summer camps.

“Our community is calling for it. We’re going to do in-person camp,” Bynum said. “It’s a need that’s there, and we want to make sure we give them what they need and make sure the kids get some sense of normalcy back.”

Bynum says they will hold their Kids on the Move summer camp for children ages 5 through 12 each week, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

These camps will be held at three different county elementary schools including Bensley Elementary, J. G. Hening Elementary and Marguerite Christian Elementary School.

At each site, Bynum says they can have a maximum of 60 campers. They’re also following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines with mask requirements for campers and staff.

“You have to wear a mask when you’re inside at the school building unless you’re outside participating in physical activity or in the gym where we can keep them six feet apart,” she said. “They will rotate every 35 minutes from one activity to the next. We will make sure that we are cleaning and sanitizing every area as they move.”

The summer camp will last until July 29 and costs $85. For a full list of summer camps from Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, click here.

Henrico County Recreation and Parks will also hold in-person summer camps this year.

A spokesperson for Henrico’s recreation department says the county is working with three separate community partners: First Tee, Henrico PAL and the Cultural Arts Center.

The department will also provide a free Friday camp for Henrico residents. All camps are in-person with best practices in accordance with current CDC guidance.

To comply with these guidelines, the capacity of these camps will be limited depending on the size of the facility.

Campers, staff and parents who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear masks.

When campers and staff arrive for the day, they will have their temperature checked and will be asked health-related questions.

For more information about the summer camps with Henrico County Recreation and Parks, click here.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Submit a news tip.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.