Local summer camps forced to change plans due to COVID-19
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Summer camp, a place where kids can enjoy a game of kickball, make friends, and maybe tell a ghost story or two.
For some it’s a summer tradition, but this year, things look a little different.
The City of Rapid City will not be hosting any of its summer camps or classes and will halt similar programs until September. Not only is it a health concern due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but revenue and budget play a major role in the cancellation.
“We are not hiring most of our summer help back this year, obviously because of COVID-19 concerns, and obviously because of the budget,” said Darrell Shoemaker, the Communications Coordinator for the City of Rapid City.
Other organizations will continue summer camps, but will make changes to follow the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s or CDC’s guidelines.
The YMCA will start its day camp on June 1. The camp runs in two-week cycles.
“Our summer day camp is up at Giraffic park and it actually has 56 acres of park land, so the availability to take as many kids as we can out at the park isn’t a problem, because we can meet CDC guidelines quite easily,” said Keiz Larson, the Chief Operations Officer at YMCA in Rapid City.
Adjustments include limiting the amount of children on buses and working with parents to set up transportation plans.
Depending on how the virus plays out, there may be no or limited field trips and of course, they will keep groups limited in size and distance from one another.
“Today is definitely a challenging time and I think the ability to keep things as normal as possible for kids, is really really important,” said Larson.