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Keeping Kids Connected: Summer camps prepare for kids

From academic enrichment to COVID-friendly field trips, more than 1,400 kids are already signed up for summer camps.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Many day camps across East Tennessee are prepping for a busier summer than last year.

The CDC released new health guidelines that include:

  • Wearing masks for indoor and outdoor activities. 
  • Social distancing.
  • Having small groups for indoor activities. 

The CDC also recommends that eligible counselors and campers get vaccinated.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley has remained open during the pandemic.

From academic enrichment to COVID-friendly field trips, more than 1,400 kids are already signed up for summer camps.

"We love what we do for these kids," said Bridget Jones, Director of Development & Corporate Events, Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley. We love what we do for this community. So we will continue to be here for young people... to step in and fill the gaps that exist for a lot of young people in this community."

Preparations include wearing masks, sanitizing frequently used areas, and buses. 

In the meantime, parks and recreation centers in Knoxville and Blount County are also expecting to see more kids this summer. 

Knoxville's Outdoor Recreation Experience will offer summer camps for kids at recreation centers located across the city.

Students and counselors will wear masks indoors, gather in small groups, and get outside as much as possible to visit the park or a pool. 

Registration spots are filling up quickly in Blount County. 

There are 20 camps available and some are already full. 

"We had like a trial run last year...with smaller numbers," said Chris Clark, Assistant Director for the Maryville, Alcoa, Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission. But this year, we get to take more kids in and still do it as safe as we did last year."

Staff with Maryville, Alcoa, Blount County Parks, and Recreation Commission are gearing up for a training session with the American Camp Association to prepare for this summer.