East Texas summer camps return with added safety measures

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Summer isn’t over and camps are having to adjust to the rising COVID-19 cases in East Texas. Some remain virtual while others are carefully following state and federal regulations for in-person gatherings.

UT Tyler Jazz Camp

For UT Tyler’s annual jazz camp, Director Sarah Roberts, chose to keep the camp virtual this year. Students at the university and all ages interested were welcomed to join their online sessions.

This year, the camp held students from across the nation. Roberts said because this year’s camp was virtual, attendance was accessible to those who wouldn’t typically be able to join.

“There’s a disconnect because you’re not right next to each other, but I think honestly with music it’s such a communicative art that I can play for them and they can respond and play back. What I thought would be totally disconnected actually hasn’t been as disconnected as I thought it would be.”

UT Tyler Jazz Camp Director, Sarah Roberts

Discovery Science Place summer camp

Children for the past several weeks have attended Discovery Science Place five-day camps.

However, a few changes had to be made to ensure safety for both the employees and campers. The owners added an innovative hand washing station just outside the front doors so kids can rinse up before they head inside. Glass shields at the front desks, sanitizer, and hand wipes are just a few safety measures the camp put in place.

Executive Director Chris Rasure made several changes in hopes to bounce back after closing their doors for several weeks.

“It’s gonna take a while for us to recover from this, as it will for a lot of people, but I feel confident. Tyler is a very caring community. They do support us.”

Executive Director, Chris Rasure

Carolina Creek Christian Camp

Camp over at Carolina Creek is officially back in session for an “in real life” overnight camping experience.

After Gov. Abbott gave the “green light” for camp’s to reopen, the local Tyler camp immediately moved forward with plans to give children a break from their homes.

In a press release, Carolina Creek staff said they worked diligently to align their practices with state and federal health recommendations.

“We’ve developed a physically distant experience while keeping everything you know and love about Carolina Creek in tact”

Executive Director, Lisa Olson

Parents and children are both finally happy to catch a “break” this summer and one camper looks forward to seeing her friends again.

“Definitely just having, I don’t know like, social interactions because after quarantine, it’s kind of hard to have social interactions when everyone’s in their house.”

Carolina Creek Camper, Hannah Ritchie

Whether gathering online or in-person, East Texans do their best to remain safe and have fun this summer.

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