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Families adjust to new reality of summer camps this year

NOW: Families adjust to new reality of summer camps this year

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It’s already May and summer is around the corner, but because of the coronavirus, this summer is going to look a lot different.

Parents and their children are facing a harsh reality as summer camps are canceling, being postponed, or moving online.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s 5 stage plan allows for the reopening of the state by July 4th.

Of course, that is if we continue to improve testing, contact tracing, and social distancing measures.

But staying inside your home is going to get much harder as it continues to get warmer outside.

“It changes the way you see the world,” Kyle Lunford, one parent said.

Lunford says camp was a vital part of his childhood.

“I did some sports camps,” he said.

And he wants his three children to experience it as well.

“We love for our kids to get outside explore the world that way, joining camps, sports, whatever activities they can do during the summer,” he said.

However, this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, summer camps have been postponed, moved online, or canceled altogether.

“I think it is extremely difficult especially in the summertime when the kids are out from school and they want things to do, activities and sometimes they just need a break from the parents and parents need a break from them as well,” he said.

Jacqueline Kronk, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County tells ABC57 their programs will not look the same as last year's.

“Summer usually starts in June, late June and runs for 8 weeks,” Kronk said. “We have field trips and all sorts of things kids can take advantage of and right now our plans are put on pause.”

At the moment, they’ve had to move things online.

“We start at 8 a.m. And we’ve got really hourly episodes,” she said. “We have incredible vocalists, we had a magician on today, we have people that do science experiments, stem activities all sorts of things to engage our club kids and to replicate the programs we normally have taken place after school.”

However, Kronk says they do have plans to reopen.

“To open up our flagship site on July 6th,” she said.

And will transition to in-person summer camps.

“To be able to ease into our programming I think will require a blend of virtual programming and inside programming,” she said.

They are renovating their building to add new classrooms, play areas, and even a gaming room.

But when it comes to safety, Kronk said they are currently working on the logistics.

“Our ratio will probably be closer to 1 to 9,” she said. “We normally serve 200 kids at the boys and girls club every summer, we’re probably not going to be able to do that this summer”

Lunford said if he can’t find a camp his kids can physically and safely go to, he might have to take things into his own hands.

“I am hoping for the opportunity to go to some of the state parks and things like that because if we can’t get them into a program, then we have to create a program ourselves,” he said.

It might not be camp as you remember it, but there are still some options out there for your kids.

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