Parents skeptical of new virtual summer camps

Published: May. 24, 2020 at 9:39 PM CDT
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Because of COVID-19 concerns, many organizations have decided to move their summer camps into a virtual format.

Some parents rely on these programs for their kids over the summer and some say they’re just happy it’s an option.

Latisha Walden said, “No, in all honesty. We plan on doing more vacation stuff as a family instead. We’re kind of over school, over the whole situation.”

Many summer camps are going online this year and moms we spoke with Sunday at the Sedgwick County Zoo said they’re not sold on the alternative.

Bailey Carter said, “I think it will probably be as effective as the online schooling was. I think that there is going to be a lot lost for kids.”

“I think a virtual summer camp is not the best situation," said Walden. "I think they need to be out, explore things, tough, feel them. That’s how they learn. Standing in front of a screen all day is not how kids learn.”

The Sedgwick County Zoo has canceled all of it’s June programs but zoo managers will be meeting within the next week to determine summer camp options starting in July.

Haysville GEAR UP college access coordinator, Jose Hinojosa said, “Our original plan was that it was going to be an in-person summer camp. But with everything that happened, we really just had to scrap our original plan.”

The Haysville GEAR UP which serves more than 900 kids in the area.

Since changing their summer camp into a virtual one, it’s filled to capacity.

“It’s hard with everything going on and not being certain we’d even be able to meet with the change in regulations that are going on,” said Hinojosa.

Hinojosa said the organization would like to have an in-person camp as much as kids and parents but this is the best they can do in a changing environment.

“We feel it provides them a little bit of normalcy and hopefully a little bit of an escape to what they see in the news and what’s going on,” said Hinojosa.

"I think there will be a lot more kids on electronics," said Carter. "Which isn’t a huge deal but for a kid who’s as active as he is, it would be a detriment. I mean honestly.”