Town of DeWitt turns to ‘stay camps,’ in-person summer day camps canceled due to COVID-19

Local News

DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — No in-person summer day camp for the Town of DeWitt doesn’t mean they’re not offering any activities for kids.

The Recreation Department has replaced its long-running and highly popular day camp with a Stay Camp.

In conjunction with the Town’s ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all recreation programming is suspended until further notice. That meant canceling Summer Day Camp.

“Nobody was too surprised. We were very, including us, very disappointed but I think a lot of people understood safety was a top concern,” says Megan Ball, Acting Recreation Director for the Town of DeWitt.

The Town was also supposed to use the Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School for its Summer Day Camp. Most districts, including J-D, are not allowing the use of their facilities this summer because of COVID-19.

“And then, of course, we were concerned it wouldn’t be a very enjoyable experience for the campers having to be in very small groups and not interacting with other kids. We just felt like it wasn’t going to be a great summer, and of course, we want it to be a safe summer,” Ball tells NewsChannel 9.

While saddened there will be no Summer Day Camp this year, the Rec Department wanted to ensure everyone can still have a great, fun-filled summer.

The Stay Camp program includes instructional videos, virtual field trips and activity kits featuring crafts, games, recipes (food not included), and projects.

Ball explains Stay Camp also has been designed so kids don’t have to be on screens at all if parents choose.

“Every week there’s an activity kit you can pick up with us. I’ve got a few items with me here from this week’s kit actually. We’ve got some squirt guns and splash balls. Every week there’s coloring pictures and activities and the kit comes with all the written instructions,” she says.

The program is open to anyone, not just people living in the Town of DeWitt. The cost is $10 per week.

Click here to learn more about signup deadlines and curbside pickup of activity kits.

The Rec Department also wants to know from families what other programs will be helpful for them moving forward, whether virtual or not.

Click here for the Recreation Community Campaign.

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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9.

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