Summer camps gearing up for opening day

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Schools are getting ready to open classrooms and release students for summer vacation — and summer camps are ready.

Camps in and around the Capital City are operating at full capacity this year, which is quite different from last year.

“I mean the pandemic hit everyone really hard. I’m incredibly proud of how fast our staff pivoted and we did immediately begin to offer things virtually. We of course learned a lot in the process,” explained Hollis Mackintosh Heid, the director of Northern Plains Dance.

“We are increasing our numbers. Last year we reduced them to 10 because of COVID and for social distancing. This year we’re upping it to 14,” explained Janet Rosario, the programs director at Gateway to Science Museum.

As summer camps gear up for opening day, they say they’re seeing record numbers already — higher than 2019.

“We opened registration last month and a lot of our weeks are filled up already,” shared Rosario.

“Parents are excited. I mean it’s just so nice to finally maybe not to have worry about all that stuff after a year,” explained ReNae Jochim, the recreation manager for Bismarck Parks & Recreation.

There’s a little something for every camper whether they’re interested in dance, STEM or ag.

“Talk about farm to school, basically whatever’s grown on the farm could be eaten at the school. So we’re excited about that because we weren’t able to do any of that last summer,” shared Jochim.

“We bring STEM professionals from the community to come into the camp visit with our campers, talk to them about their careers or education and do a hands-on activity with the campers,” shared Rosario.

“We have some really cool partnerships this year with some musical theater people. So we’re doing a musical theater camp where they’ll actually a musical director and a dance director,” shared Mackintosh Heid.

Camp begins as early next week and there’s still time to sign your kids up.

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