COVID-19 limits summer camp options for parents seeking child care

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department has canceled all weeks of the Franke Park Day Camp and Salomon Farm Park Farm Camp for 2020.

Posted: May 20, 2020 6:44 PM
Updated: May 21, 2020 10:03 AM

ALBION, Ind. (WFFT) — There are many parents who rely on summer camps for child care and while some are still enrolling, many camps are not being offered because of COVID-19.

“For safety reasons, we looked at how the new processes would have to be for our kids and staff,” said Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel. “We made the decision that it was better not to have the typical programming that we have had in the past.”

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department has canceled all weeks of the Franke Park Day Camp and Salomon Farm Park Farm Camp for 2020.

McDaniel says they didn’t see how they could provide a quality summer camp experience with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

He says the department is looking to replace the canceled camps with reduced summer programming.

“Camps are really struggling and many camps need their supporters more than ever,” said Tim Jank, Camp Lutherhaven Director. “We are trying our best to see if we can have some kind of camp. We know a lot of families and kids are depending on us.”

Janks says Camp Lutherhaven has had over 700 registrations for 2020 summer camps, and that summer programs make up 60% of their annual budget.

“We obviously will have our limits, but it is motivating to try to find a way to make it happen in a safe way,” Janks said. “At the same time when it comes to safety, we don’t want to be on the cutting edge in terms of risk.”

The Camp Lutherhaven staff put the COVID-19 Summer Action Plan in place to push camps further into the summer while still welcoming new enrollment.

Janks says he would rather welcome campers back in a limited capacity later in the summer than to cancel all summer programs.

For a list of Camp Lutherhaven summer programs beginning June, 21 click here.

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