Parks & Rec. to offer ‘mini’ camps throughout summer

By Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation

After much deliberation, the Parks and Recreation Department has decided to cancel the regular, longer running summer youth camps. This decision was based on the current COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent restrictions of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order # 149 and the New Jersey Youth Camp Safety Standards.

However, in order to adapt to the times and provide much-needed recreation and reconnection, shorter duration, in person programs will be offered with limited number of registrants. All camps will comply with the NJ COVID-19 Safety Standard Guideline. There will be daily health checks and temperature monitoring. Children are required to bring a mask and a snack. There will also be virtual camps that can accommodate more students.

“Mini” one-week camps for a limited number of rising third through rising fifth graders will now take place at two sites: the Church Street Recreation Center and the New Albany Recreation Center at Jeff Young Park. These will be held in the mornings Monday through Friday for three hours. Children will engage in typical camp activities — non-contact sports, crafts and games. These camps will be run by Sabrina and Dylan our Roberts & Baker camp supervisors. 

Pottery class for rising third through rising sixth graders will be held on six consecutive Mondays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. beginning July 6. Children will learn slab, hand building and coiling techniques and focus on one project per week. Fine Arts drawing camp and daily camps in August with tie-dying and splatter art. 

There are 15 culinary programs for third through eight graders. They are held Monday through Thursdays at the Church Street Recreation Center. Some highlights include: cake decorating with visits from Wegman’s pastry chefs; two classes modeled on TV cooking shows — “Chopped” and “Cupcake Wars“ and “Jersey Fresh” which will focus on the bounties of local, fresh ingredients.

There will be outdoor youth basketball, tennis and general sports camps that will consist mainly of drills to ensure distancing. Many robotics camps (online and at the Rec.) as well as a new camp this year outdoor drone robotics class that will have kids building and flying drones at New Albany. Create your own games, animation or dive into virtual reality this summer

The Summer Children’s Theater camp has a long tradition and is always a favorite for many, many children. This year kids will continue to learn acting, singing and dancing — virtually. These will be one-week sessions for two age categories : ages 7 to 10 and 10 to 13. The young but experienced staff will have students able to perform a song and dance routine from popular Disney and Broadway songs, with lots of fun theatre related games and activities. Led by Kevin Kulp (professional musical theatre actor) and Caroline Voyack (Westminster Choir College/Music Education Major), the fun filled week will be held for 2 and a half hours daily Monday through Friday.

Please visit for full details and to register.