LANSING - With summer just starting for the kids, many parents are looking to send their kids to day camp after nearly three months of quarantine, and while many camps have cancelled their season, there are some camps that are moving forward with changes.
The School of Rock Camp in Okemos is in their first summer of holding camps. Director Jon Jackinchuk said while they planned to have camp in person, the chances of that were dwindling as stay at home orders went on. That wasn’t going to stop Jon and the rest of the team from providing a fun camp experience.
"We went on and worked on a virtual camp plan in case we weren’t able to have the in person for those that still wanted to have a music camp experience,” Jon Jackinchuk said. ”We planned to have both but it did seem that prior to June that may not happened with the way the other camps were deciding to close that was always in the back of our minds.”
The decision to move forward with in person camps was based on local and business guidelines such as the number of coronavirus cases and local orders. The camp met these guidelines June 1 when Michigan's safer at home order was lifted.
“When we looked further, we saw that we could safely have our camps and follow all of our safety and cleaning procedures in our rooms where we are holding our camps when we are indoors,” Jon Jackinchuk said.
The safety procedures in places include being six feet apart from each other, wearing masks, not sharing instruments, washing hands and using hand sanitizers.
“From walking through the front door, everyone in our building wears a mask at all times. They (students) each have a spot on the floor and they stay on that spot so that everyone is maintaining that distance we need them to be, which for us is more than six feet in our rehearsal rooms,” Jon said.
All equipment is sanitized at the beginning of the day and breaks are taken so staff can sanitize all touched equipment such as door knobs and light switches. Staff also are at the doors so students don’t have to touch them.
Camps are limited to 10 people to ensure proper social distancing.
Spartan Dance and Fitness Center in East Lansing is in its 10th year hosting summer dance camps. Like other camps they will be changing how they operate to keep kids safe which includes hosting camp outdoors and less students.
Even though stay at home orders were in place until June 1, owner Tiffany Burton was optimistic about this summer.
“We always wanted to push forward with camps,” Burton said.
Each week will feature a different theme which include Summer Vacation, Catch a Wave, Safari and Pool Party Hip Hop. Studio Manager Shawn Heethuis said the purpose remains the same.
“Kids need to keep moving and staying active and socializing and the fact that dance is a physical sport means you don’t have to have contact with other kids so we can spread them out, still have a ton of fun they can learn new skills and have to friendships from a distance,” Heethuis said.
In addition to making friends from a distance for safety, other safety measures will be in place such as temperature checks, masks, the elimination of drinking fountains and social distancing.
“It’s been a pretty tough go and we kind of said you know we can do these outside we have enough green grass space we had parents that definitely were asking for camps to go back on because their kids wanted to do them so we kind of listened to what the community was asking for and said alright we can make it work,” Burton said.
Each session will be limited to 20 campers. Camps will run Monday through Friday from 9 am-12 pm starting June 22.