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Local summer camps focusing on education vs. recreation due to pandemic

Posted at 8:04 AM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 12:13:45-04

NAPLES, FLa. — Some local summer camps will be shifting to more of an academic focus this year to help students catch up because of the pandemic.

The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County is one program working to do so, while still making camp fun for kids.

It explained that even though most students have returned to face-to-face learning, they've still missed out on field trips, hands-on group activities, and other traditional learning opportunities like career exploration and guest speakers. Its summer camp this year will help fill that void.

“The lingering effects of the pandemic on members’ academic achievement has been significant, even though our school district has done a marvelous job,” said Jose Hernandez, Chief Operating Officer of The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County.

“Experiential learning, especially for younger children, is really the key to first of all piquing their curiosity and making them be open to learning. And second of all, to make that learning sticky. So one of the things that we have the opportunity to do here at the club, is to provide those hands-on learning opportunities. Whether it's in our STEM lab, or through math manipulatives, through reading groups, through writing groups, so that the academic work is there but it's sort of disguised a little bit as fun activities,” added Erin Duffy, Club Director for the Nichols Campus in Naples.

Another example the club provided is offering experiences with First Lego League to get kids excited about robotics.

Right now, there’s a community goal to help give more kids this summer opportunity.

The club explained that while its tuition is lower than most camps in Collier County, it can be burdensome to some families who need to get back to work and provide a safe, fun, and educational camp experience for their kids. So it's working to raise $500 for 500 campers.

Learn how you can help here.