Three sets of smiles lit up opening day of Camp Wy.Not on Monday even brighter than the summer sun on a cloudless day in Elkhart – the campers, the counselors and the parents dropping off their kids.
“I think it’s a bigger relief for the parents,” said ADEC family services program manager and camp director Liz Richards. “All of the parents that I’ve talked to are so grateful they have a place for their child to go with a lot of things being cancelled. The kids have been cooped up inside with their parents for a couple of months. It’s just as much of a break for the parents as it is for the kids.”
The morning was nothing but a break for the kids who bustled around the building and park outside playing games, doing crafts and generally showing off all of the energy one would expect from any child, surrounded by other children who have all been cooped up at home for months.
“So far this morning it’s just been about the energy and the excitement, Richards said. “How can you not be a good mood when you’re here? Everybody is smiling and having fun. Everybody is excited to see everyone else. It’s just an atmosphere that you can’t find anywhere else around ADEC.
“I’m so excited camp is finally here. It’s so great to see everybody.”
The story of 2020 Camp Wy.Not is, like anything on Earth since late winter, a complicated one. Once ADEC decided to go ahead with summer camp as part of the May 1st reopening announcement, Richards and her staff have been diligently adapting their typical programming. It kept the crew busy as the situation changed day-to-day relative to matters ranging from safety precautions to the facility itself. Community outings can’t happen this year but, therein lies an opportunity as well as Richards pointed out that the field trip money can go back into making the other camp activities more fun relying on her staff’s creative minds.
Judging by the smiles all around on Monday morning, those creative minds and a pack of campers certainly did find plenty of fun to spread around.