A seven-week summer camp sponsored by Hull’s Parks and Recreation Department has been deemed a success, despite lower enrollment than in past years. There are approximately 250 children, ages 5 to 12, in the camp, which is a lower enrollment than in recent years. The seven-week program started July 6, and registration closed about a week ago.
Greg Grey, department chairman, said he does not know why there has been a drop-off, but he speculated that “maybe there was a whole bunch of bigger camp options that [age] group goes to.”
Another possible reason could be the recent lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, which enabled families to travel during the summer instead of staying home and enrolling their youngsters in camp.
The P&R’s camp has been a tradition for several years, but it updated its activities this year to include “a lot more activities, more social media driving things,” according to Grey. “We’ve shifted; it’s kind of a new generation of camp,” he said.
Having brought the program “more toward 2021,” he said, it has become “far more engaging.” Some of the new activities include field trips to destinations like Water Whizz and Starland and themed events, such as Bring a Stuffed Animal Day and Halloween Day.
The camp is located at the L Street field, permitting campers to spend time on athletic activities or playing games on the playground.
“The best part is the playground,” said third-grader Verona Hedrick, who gave the camp a favorable review. “They have lots of activities. … Some of my friends are there; it’s really fun.”
Verona’s twin, Chloe, agreed. There is “a lot of variety,” she reported, and she likes that some of her friends are also in the program.
The camp has encountered only a few glitches: On the first day, parking was what Grey described as “total chaos.”
Lili Hedrick, Verona’s and Chloe’s mother, said that the situation was sorted out quickly and was “just the beginning kinks. … They’re doing awesome,” she added.
A Facebook group is another relatively new tool for the camp that allows camp administrators to inform parents about “what’s going on a day before it happens and a week before it happens,” Grey explained.
Grey said there have been “nothing but great comments coming his way. People have been completely thrilled [and] happy for the experience they are getting this year.”
He complimented the camp’s director, Connor, for doing “a great job.” He has been “really engaged in the process” and is skilled at “keeping the kids moving and keeping them happy and providing a great experience for the kids of Hull.”