WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As the start of Governor Laura Kelly’s revised Phase 2 of reopening Kansas nears, the YMCA and other organizations are releasing their plans for youth sports and summer camps.
“Being able to allow the kiddos to come back in and do what they love is going to be good,” said Catherine Seals, senior program director. “I can’t wait.”
On June 1, YMCA summer camps will begin and on June 15, youth sports practices will start.
YMCA officials said they were waiting to start sports to give some time for limitations to expire.
“Just to encourage parents to maintain social distancing,” said Seals. “We’re going to do what we can to ensure kids’ safety.”
Summer camps, which is also childcare will look different this year, but the YMCA said it will provide the much-needed care working parents have needed during the pandemic.
Capacities of the camps will be lowered more than half and field trips will be limited.
There will also be wellness screenings for children and staff at the start of each day.
Seals said for sports, things will look similar to what families are used to with additional sanitizing and social distancing.
“Even parents that are trying to work from home and telework, it’s important,” said Andrea Eliot, childcare and branch director. “Having that child be able to be out in a program is going to be extremely important.”
YMCA officials said getting kids active and out of the house is important for their growth physically and mentally.
“We need to get them socially active,” said Eliot. “We know that this has been a trying time for everyone and kids experience that, too.”
Seals said sports for kids is something they look forward to.
“This is an outlet for kids who want to have something to do, who want to enjoy and crow in their craft,” said Seals.
For families struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic, there is assistance available to get children in sports or summer camps.
“There are funds available through the state to help with childcare,” said Eliot. “Those have increased over this during the COVID-19 crisis.”
You can submit an application for financial assistance online, as well as register for youth sports or summer camp.
The deadline to sign up for youth sports is June 1 and you must sign up at least a week prior to starting summer camp.
For more information and registration forms, click here.