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Boys & Girls Club opens for summer camp

Posted at 10:43 AM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 13:43:03-04

This summer many parents have been left without child care options due to camps closing because of COVID-19. The Boys and Girls Club said opening felt like a responsibility to they were willing to take on. 23ABC's Daniela Garrido takes a look at what they are doing to keep the kids safe.

On any typical summer, the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County will serve up to 230 kids for summer camp. Due to the spread of COVID-19, this year, they were forced to cut the program to 75 kids.

"Not like your typical summer. We've had to cut down to half of the members were serving," said Juanita Recinos, Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp coordinator. "A lot of our kids this is the only home they have or their parents are constantly working, their front line employees, EMTs, grocery store employees, and its important to not have these kids alone at home."

Upon entry, campers have to get their temperature checked. Every 45 minutes, they have to wash their hands. And every hour, counselors sanitize the activity stations.

"They see us cleaning all the time and a majority of our kids understand we care for them and we'll do anything to keep them safe," said Recinos.

The summer camp has had to innovate its program, changing to eight campers per counselor making sure there is enough social distancing in each activity including sports and art class.

"I know their biggest concern is whoever doesn't have symptoms and is able to spread it. We're cleaning everything, washing our hands all the time, we're disposing of products," explained Recinos.

This year, the summer camp is offering something they've never done before: virtual summer camp through Zoom.

The Boys and Girls Club said remaining open has been essential for the parents who are still working throughout the pandemic.

"Our parents are grateful they get emotional you can see it in their eyes they love to see their kids go home with activities," added Recinos.

For now, in-person summer camp is full but they are still accepting virtual campers for those parents working from home and looking for something to distract the kids.