With many summer camps being canceled across the region, parents are looking for activities to keep their children busy and entertained throughout the summer. For Fredericksburg Parks, Recreation & Events, instead of completely canceling camps altogether, the organization has decided to bring the camp activities to everyone’s home with its Camp @ Home boxes.
These boxes combine various activities, including crafts, STEM projects and games, with virtual meetings and videos from camp staff for a true, summer camp experience at home. Tailored toward children ages 5 through 11, each box comes with basic supplies, like scissors and crayons, and all the additional materials needed to complete 25 activities provided for the week.
The idea all started after the city’s summer camps were canceled this year due to the coronavirus. From there, Superintendent of Leisure Services Jennifer Casarotti started doing research on possible virtual offerings and other ways to give children some kind of camp experience this summer.
“I like the virtual idea, but I think it is hard to charge a fee for something that is just virtual along with people getting laid off, and major companies and celebrities offering free classes,” says Casarotti. “I thought, ‘What if we could provide the materials for different activities, along with the virtual part?’ because not every kid has all the supplies at home too.”
While looking at providing activity bags with a few crafts to the public, Casarotti and her team decided to bring it to the next level and provide a week’s worth of camp activities in a take-home box. From June 22 through June 26, the $15 box will allow kids to spend the week making bracelets, playing balloon tennis, crafting tie-dye T-shirts and much more.
“We started with just 30 preorder spots, which sold out in minutes, so we pushed it to 50,” explained Casarotti. “That still sold out within the first hour so we pushed it again to 150, which sold out in a day!”
Due to the high demand, the team has decided to up the number of boxes for sale to 200. And if you can’t get this box, don’t worry because Casarotti and her team are planning on putting together one or two more boxes full of new activities for children this summer.
Parents can register for the Camp @ Home boxes at fredparksrec.com until June 12.
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