UMD kicks off Kids Rock Summer Camp under COVID-19 health guidelines

Updated: July 06, 2020 06:25 PM

UMD kicked off day one of its annual KIDS ROCK Summer Camp program Monday after going through several weeks of preparation and planning to keep kids and staff safe during a health pandemic.

"This camp is nice because I like how all the camp counselors play with the kids and we all get to play fun games together and we get to go to different places around UMD," said 10-year-old Molly Bayuk. She is one of several kids who have been enjoying the summer camp for the past couple of years.

"I've made at least 12 friends throughout the last four years and I have made a lot of friends with the counselors here," said 9-year-old Rollie Williams, a camper.

The camp offers a number of indoor and outdoor activities like rock climbing and other fun games that keep kids active.

"We're playing frogger and I was the detective and the frogger," said Williams.

This year however is a unique and different camp experience as lots of preparation was done to make camp a safe environment.

"We just felt like we could pull something off that we really needed to and wanted to as a service to kids and the parents," said Joel Sanderson, the UMD assistant director of intramural sports and youth camps.

Some of those changes include decreasing the number of kids at camp. They usually have about 170 kids weekly but now decreased it to about 64 kids. They are split up in groups of eight called 'pods.'

"We are keeping a smaller group to minimize exposure to other campers and we're building those groups by siblings and exposure to other campers outside of camp,” said Sanderson.

Camp staff say lots of cleaning and sanitizing is done as well throughout the day. Staff are required to wear face masks and do health screenings everyday. Staff said all this work is important and worth it because kids are excited to be outdoors after being cooped up at home these past couple of months during the pandemic.

"I'm happy now I get to play games with people I know in person instead of over a screen and that's probably the best part about it," said Bayuk.

There are still spots open to sign kids up for the ten week day camp. To learn more, click here.

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