Providing a Better Way to Play

“How are you running camp this summer? Are you really going to be able to effectively promote social distancing in your facility? How can groups manage during these unprecedented times? What activities can we expect to see with all of these new guidelines?”

These are just a handful of the questions we received in the months leading up to Summer Camp 2020. This year has been a wild ride. You know that. The whole world knows that. And in New York City, we’ve felt that. At the end of the day, as an organization our mission is to provide positive experiences and opportunities through sports and creative play. After months spent cooped up in houses and apartments around the world, we knew that kids and adults alike needed to move. We needed to get outside. We as human beings needed engagement, activity and social interaction. 

We spent the months leading up to June on a rollercoaster of possibilities, but when it came down to making a final decision on summer camp, we saw the risk. And not for one second did our team take COVID-19 or the fact that we are in the midst of a global pandemic lightly. But we also saw the reward. We saw the opportunity to go the extra mile and to plan and prepare for every possible scenario to ensure a safe camp. We saw the opportunity to trust our highly trained and experienced team of coaches and staff to perform under pressure. We saw the chance to give kids a chance to play, move, grow and learn. According to the Aspen Institute 73% of parents report that sports improve their child’s mental health. We felt like this was our most important summer yet for kids’ social, emotional, mental and physical health. 

Our team at Kids in the Game recently finished up four summer camps in Riverdale, the Upper East Side, the East Village and Park Slope in Brooklyn, serving 400 families for 10 weeks with about 100 staff members. 

We had 0 COVID cases. 

More importantly, we created a space for kids to be kids again. We wore our masks, shifted our programming, and tapped into our creativity. 

Now we’re preparing for the fall, launching remote learning centers, after-school programs, and opportunities for our youth to join basketball teams, soccer programs, and track and field – safely. Some may be leaving NYC, but we are staying put and doing the work. We’re still here, still playing, still NYC strong. See you on the field.

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