Summer camps getting ready to kick off season

ASHLAND, Ore. – Summer officially begins this Sunday, but for many local kids, school is already out. Last year many summer camps were canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. But this year summer camps are back in Southern Oregon.

“The community is ready for a new normal. The community is definitely ready for organized structured activities for their children and their families,” said Michele Mitzel, Ashland Family YMCA.

Parents are looking for summer camp opportunities to keep their kids busy. After a difficult 20-20 camps are hoping to bring a breath of fresh air. The Ashland YMCA said their goal is to get kiddos doing what they love.

“We really want kids to feel engaged again in this community, to be connected to one another outside of the classroom and technology. And just get outdoors and have fun,” said Mitzel.

Not only is the organization offering a number of day camps, but this is the first year of its overnight program, Camp DeBoer at Lake of the Woods.

“It’s coming together. It’ll be a lot of fun. And we’re just looking forward to having kids there. That’s really why we built it,” said Mitzel.

Many other organizations are offering summer fun this year. Youth 71 Five Ministries in Medford has a sleep-away camp for Rogue Valley kids. Tim Hardy is one of the coordinators for the program.

“Every year camps are just absolute life-changing events for a lot of our kids. We are so happy that we get to do camps again,” said Hardy.

Both camps are offering financial assistance, they want every child to get a chance to experience camp. The organizations hoping to go back to the activities they love will help bring some normalcy to kids this summer.

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