SARASOTA COUNTY –– It might not feel the same as prior years but for families with restive children, summer camps will take place in Sarasota County after June.
Nicole Rissler, the county’s director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources took to Facebook Live on May 26 to announce further relaxation of the closures affecting her department for the last four months.
The biggest of those for many parents was the announcement that summer camps would be taking place.
Beginning June 8, the county will begin accepting online and drop-off registrations for both regular and specialty summer camps that will open at five locations on June 29 and run through July 31, a total of five weeks.
Pending registrations and staff availability, a sixth week from Aug. 3-7 could be offered at Woodmere Park in Venice and Colonial Oaks Park in Sarasota.
To maintain social distancing and keeping both staff and campers safe, only 50 slots will be open for each camp, and there will be no field trips. Instead, guests will be invited to come to the camp and make presentations.
“It’s a balance of having this really important amenity and activity with social distancing in thisenvironment,” Rissler said.
Besides Woodmere Park and Colonial Oaks Park, the other three summer camp locations are at Laurel Park, Longwood Park, and Bee Ridge Park. Indoor reservations at these sites are cancelled during the weeks summer camps are in session.
Rissler announced too that outdoor courts including basketball, volleyball and shuffle ball will open this Saturday, May 30. Playgrounds, however, will remain closed “a little longer,” Rissler said.
Local league play on the athletic fields can resume June 1 and tournament play on June 14 with an approved plan, and the approval of sanctioning bodies.
Groups utilizing county facilities, such as yoga on Venice Beach, can resume their activities on June 1 as long as they have submitted a plan which has been approved.
“I know this has been a long four months,” Rissler said. “I want to thank everyone for their patience.”