LOXLEY, Alabama — After having to cancel last year’s camp because of COVID-19 restrictions, Tina Harris, activities director for the Town of Loxley, said she is looking forward to hosting the 2021 Summer Youth Program, which begins June 1 at the Loxley Civic Center and Municipal Park.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing all the kids again,” she said. “I’ve spoken with a lot of teachers and they say the kids are really excited about coming back. I know for a lot of them, this is something they’ve looked forward to doing every summer and it was hard not to be able to do it last year.”
The camp, which begins the day after Memorial Day, features daily activities and crafts throughout the five-week program, ending July 2.
Started in limited capacity in 2004 by then activities director Joey Knight, the camp is open to boys and girls ages 5 to 12. After drawing as many as 100 campers in its early years, the camp began limiting the number to 50 several years ago and while they will take extra precautions with cleaning and disinfecting, Harris said she wants to keep the camp much the same as it has always been.
“As much as we’re able to, I want to keep everything pretty much as normal as possible,” she said.
Registration for the camp began April 13 and is $150 per child (discounts are available for additional children within the same family), and includes all art and craft supplies, special events, daily snacks and teachers, among other things. Lunch is provided at a cost of $2 per meal and a light breakfast will be offered for $1 per meal.
The camp runs Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with extended care offered no later than 5 p.m. for an additional $5 per hour.
Harris said while she is still in the process of scheduling events and activities for the camp, she is hoping that they will continue with the same activities from year’s past, like weekly ice cream days and water days every Friday to help beat the summer heat.
“I’m planning on reaching out to everyone who has participated in the past,” she said, “and hopefully we will be able to schedule some of those same activities. I’ve also already hired staff for the summer and plan to meet with them to exchange ideas.”
For the most part, the camp is staffed by Baldwin County School System employees, Harris said. She has also hired a former camper who will assist with activities and said several former campers who have aged out of the program come back to volunteer each year.
“The main thing we want to do is to keep everything fun,” Harris said. “I feel like they have enough studying to do in school. When they come here, I think it’s important that they concentrate on just being a kid and having fun with their friends.”
You can pick up a registration form at the Civic Center, call 251-964-7733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.