Sandown Recreation Department News

Sandown Summer Recreation Programs Underway
By Penny Williams 6-15-20

Sandown Summer Recreation programs will take place but they will look and feel different from previous summers due to conditions and guidelines imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recreation Director Deb Brown describes what parents and Summer Recreation Program participants can expect from this year's programs. "We certainly intend to have fun and plenty of it," Brown said. "Many things will look different for sure, and we are working out ways we can still have traditional camp fun such as baseball; kick ball; World Cup; dance clinics; cheer clinics; arts & crafts; parachute games; nature hikes; Volleyball; Basketball; Lemon Ball; science challenge; 4-Square and so much more!"

Brown is in the process of working out plans that would allow the Summer Recreation program to continue to use the town beach. "It may look different and we may need to split the camp into two sessions to use the beach, but we are be working on it," she stated.

The Summer Recreation Program registration form will indicate a place to sign for each child to be transported by school bus, back and forth between the recreation building and the beach. "We are still planning on Fridays being ‘beach day’ all day," she said. "We will utilize the irrigation system at the recreation facility to also cool things off for everyone. Bathing suits must be worn under clothing. There will be no changing into bathing suits allowed. If you are okay with your child getting their clothing wet that is fine too but they will remain in wet clothing for the duration of the day. Please plan accordingly."

One program loss to the new and different Summer Recreation Program is our annual “Talent Show” during Week 6, that will not happen this year. However, Brown is planning having at least two ‘in-house’ talent shows that the campers will perform for one another.

She reviewed some of the special activities such as live music; trick dog show; Kona Ice; the infamous Chubb’s Mobile along with our regular pizza days and hot dog cookouts.

The program will run Monday, June 22, thru August 7th except for no program on Friday, July 3rd. The location will be the Ed Garvey Recreation Facility on Pheasant Run Drive. The new hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Due to Covid-19 registrations are limited to 50 percent of last year’s enrollment. That means a maximum of 75 campers.

This year, due to Covid-19 Recreation Department does not have the use of an indoor space large enough to accommodate distancing guidelines. Days of inclement weather will be like a school “snow day” and camp will be cancelled. If rain/dangerous weather is broadcast we will decide by 6:30 a.m. If possible a decision will be made the night before. It is New England, weather changes can be quick, we do not want to cancel too early if possible. This may cause inconvenience for some; it is not something we have control over. If dangerous weather conditions come up quickly during the day we will send out a notice to your cell phone. We ask everyone to join our 'REMIND APP' so that we can get info to you as quickly as possible. Recreation does not have the ability to send out a general phone message but we also post to Facebook. "Please 'like' our page and turn on notifications! You or your emergency person will need to be able to pick up campers within 45 minutes. PLEASE pick up sooner if you possibly can! This may be a challenge for you so please be sure your emergency person will be available if you will not be able to respond within 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the program simply cannot accommodate campers indoors."

The program will cost $125.00 per week per camper (see note on non-residents). Registration will open first to children entering Grades 1-6 only who will be registering for 5 to 7 weeks. Registration will then open to those registering for 3-4 weeks and lastly to those registering for 1-2 weeks or any number of weeks. Should space allow Recreation will open it to participants entering Grades 7 and 8 after the initial registration dates. "We are happy to add older children to a wait list and you may give us their registration to hold onto," Brown said. If you register and pay for any number of weeks there is no obligation to attend every day however you will pay for the weeks you reserved for. For some it may be worth paying, even if not attending, but just to insure a spot.

If applying and new to the program parents will need to provide proof- of- residency (ex: tax bill; license; recent utility bill etc.) along with a birth certificate for your child who must be age 6 by no later than 09/30/20. No exceptions. No camper turning 15 prior to 09/30/20 OR entering a grade higher than 8th Grade may register. Due to the ever-changing environment of Covid-19 this program reserves the right to cancel the program should it become unsafe to continue running it. If program cancels you will receive a full refund for any weeks remaining that you have previously paid for.

Brown said, "Each day at drop-off campers will have their temperature checked, via no-touch thermometer, by a staff member wearing a mask, as camper exits your vehicle. Parent/Guardian will be asked a series of questions by staff wearing a mask. Parents are required to remain in your vehicle and not leave the parking lot until questions are answered and temperature results are reviewed. A temperature of 100.4 or higher means your camper will immediately return to your vehicle and cannot attend camp. Covid-19 “return to program” protocol will apply. Once screening is complete camper will be guided to a staff member who will tell them where to place their belongings. Once belongings are placed camper will be required to sanitize their hands."

At no time can there be less than 2 employees on site with a child. Recreation is paying for 2 employees if you are late. Parents or care givers will be dropping off campers at Town Hall on Fridays and picking them up there in the afternoon. Fridays will remain as ‘beach day. ’All campers will be assigned, by grade, to a group that will remain together. Younger campers will be in assigned in groups of 8 with 2 staff members. Older groups may be assigned with 9 campers and 1 staff member Supervisory staff will be available all day to supplement if needed. Campers may not ride bikes to camp this year as they have in the past.

2020 REFUND POLICY: Normally there is no return of fees except in the case of a documented medical situation. For 2020 the policy has been expanded somewhat. If your camper needs to self-quarantine or they or a family member is ill with Covid-19 you will not be able to attend the program. You may apply for a pro-rated refund. A physician’s note will be mandatory. A receipt for a doctor visit is not valid. A request, in writing, must be received by the recreation department within 2 weeks of absence for refund. If your request is denied by the recreation director, you may appeal the decision to the Recreation Commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

According to Brown, "While MANY summer programs have cancelled for the summer, our staff was willing to return and plans to continue making the Sandown Summer Recreation Program the best it can possibly be. We all know it will be a challenge. They are willing to tackle it with enthusiasm and pride. I would not have attempted to do it this year without their years of experience. We ask for your patience as we all learn this very new and different way of doing things."


















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