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Knoxville Outdoor Recreation Experience strives to keep summer camp fun and also keep kids safe

KORE opened for the season Monday after the coronavirus delayed Knoxville's popular summer camp by two weeks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A silent gym welcomed a lively summer camp at Cumberland Estates Recreation Center. It's one of nine Knoxville rec centers hosting KORE Summer Camp

"It's great to have kids back in the rec center. They're having fun and now we're getting to have fun again too," Ryan Siler said.  

This is his second year as is a recreation specialist. 

"Last year everybody was coming in, they knew we were about to get going. A hundred kids all packed together and ready to go. And this year it's just staggering in one by one and keeping their distance," he said. 

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Campers are not required to wear masks

Keeping their distance is one of the protocols recommended by the Knox County Health Department. 

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Staff members wear masks and disinfect play areas

Staff members wipe down play areas and wear masks, though the kids don't. 

Everyone gets a temperature check at the door and hand sanitizers and hand washing are part of life at summer camp now.

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Hand washing and hand sanitizer are part of the camp experience

"We're at about 50% of what we normally would have as far as registrations and just working with the Health Department and following guidelines," Nikki Crutcher said. 

She is the Recreation Superintendent for Knoxville Parks and Recreation. 

That reduced capacity means some recreation centers have waiting lists but others still have room. You can call the specific location you're interested in to sign up. 

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Children enjoy playing card games

Keeping the kids safe is important but so is keeping camp fun.

"We want kids to come here, have fun, enjoy, get the physical exercise, get the socialization, and have the experience that we always try to provide," she said. 

Ryan Siler said,  "We're just all looking forward to having a great summer and getting back to as close to normal as we possibly can for the sake of the kids." 

Credit: WBIR
The gym at Cumberland Estates Recreation Center fills with campers

2020 KORE SUMMER CAMP:

Knoxville Outdoor Recreation Experience

Ages:    6-12 years of age (Must be 6 years old by 6/1/2020)

Dates:    June 15 to July 31  

NO CAMP - June 29 - July 3 (week of July 4th)

Days/Times:

Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 4 pm.

Costs:    City Resident Registration Fee - $20

Non-City Resident Fee - $50

Weekly Fee - $20 per week (due week before)

Summary:

* Lunch & Snack Provided Daily

* Field Trips

* No additional fees

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