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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NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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