Horry County reports low summer camp registration, some parents hesitant over virus concerns
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Horry County Parks and Recreation Department is ready to welcome kids back for summer camp this season. But some parents are hesitant due to COVID-19 concerns, resulting in low registration rates.
“Some parents are still a little iffy about if they want to send their children to summer camp, naturally with the pandemic going on. It’s a great concern,” afterschool and summer camp supervisor Jeff Bailey said. “Last year we were forced to shut the camp down, so we’re hopeful that by getting the word out and continuing to speak about our camp, more parents will feel a little more comfortable sending their children to us.”
Bailey said registration numbers are low at all recreation centers: South Strand Recreation Center, North Strand Recreation Center, Carolina Forest Recreation Center and Green Sea/Aynor.
According to officials, South Strand Recreation Center and Carolina Forest Recreation Center average around 150 kids a day. Meanwhile, North Strand Recreation Center averages 100 to 120 kids daily and Green Sea/Aynor about 40.
As of Monday, only 27 kids at South Strand Recreation Center, 19 at Carolina Forest Recreation Center, 11 at North Strand Recreation Center and nine at Green Sea/Aynor are registered, well below the numbers they usually have this time of year.
Bailey said likely another hesitation for parents is whether or not the camp will actually happen after suddenly closing last year because of COVID-19.
However, Bailey said staff continues to meet regularly to explore summer camp COVID-19 precautions. It includes a face mask policy, hand sanitation stations, extra sanitizing at facilities and social distancing.
He said after a year without summer camps, they’re thrilled to welcome kids back.
”Last year when we had to put a hold on things, it was certainly a downer. Tough for all of us, staff, parents alike,” Bailey said. “I’m excited - planning, staff and I have been planning for months now to get everything in line. Our activities, field trips, in-house scheduling plans, we’re excited, we’re ready.”
Registration is now open. You can register here.
Bailey said for children ages 13 through 15, there’s another option called the L.I.T. program. More information on that program can be found here.
Copyright 2021 WMBF. All rights reserved.