How summer camps are keeping children safe from COVID-19

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FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — With temperatures rising and the summer in full swing, families are taking advantage of the return of group activities. But with increased activities brings an increased chance of getting exposed to COVID.

Camp Royal is an outdoor extreme sports camp in Fayette county. The faith-based camp started five years ago to try and get kids active and outside. Kids ages 7 to 17 get the chance to ride bikes, boards or even scooters.

Camp coordinators, including Christian Arehart, said it’s easier to prevent COVID-19 cases since the kids are spread out and in the open air.

“Last summer was definitely interesting,” Arehart said. “This summer is even more fun because we are out here and we are out here every single day.”

While they were able to loosen their restrictions, Camp Royal founder and president, Brandon Hideman, said it is still important to remain diligent.

“First, we had to deal with those things and it made it possible to have camp. It was worth it,” said Hideman. “But now, we have just adopted a lot of those safe practices.”

They are currently in the middle of their overnight camps at the former Glen Jean Elementary School. Camp Royal transformed the former school by adding indoor skate parks and state-of-the-art dorms and facilities.

For the first time ever, Camp Royal is also partnering with the Summit Bechtel reserve, home of the second largest skate park in North America.

“It was… one of the biggest skate parks I have ever seen,” said Evaen Ulrich, an 11-year-old biker.

The inclusion of the Summit’s space gave the camp the ability to host more campers than ever, making it all the more important to keep them safe and separated.

As each camper brings their own ride and equipment, Hideman said the main concern is making sure the building and buses are constantly sanitized.

“Everyone has been just trying to adjust into this new normal, saying ‘Okay, is COVID still a thing?’ ‘Is my kid gonna be safe?'” said Hideman. “I just wanna reassure everyone that we have not had any issues and we have had a blast.”

There are open slots at Camp Royal for upcoming camps. Click the link for dates and registration.

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