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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

B-N Parks And Rec Departments Move Back Start Of Summer Camps

Campers wander in park
Bloomington Parks and Rec
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In Bloomington, the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department plans to accommodate the typical 100 campers, but now spread across three outdoor sites.

Bloomington-Normal’s working parents will still have parks and rec day camps as an option for their kids this summer — but not until the end of June.

Bloomington and Normal parks and rec departments are both delaying the start of their summer day camps until June 29. They’ve added more locations, so they can split kids up into smaller groups to meet state requirements for social distancing.

The Town of Normal added a fourth location to create about 180 spots, less than the 240 campers in a typical summer, said Normal Parks and Rec Director Doug Damery. It canceled its first summer day camp session (June 8-26) after determining it couldn’t meet the state’s guidelines for Phase 3 of the governor’s plan that is expected to begin at the end of May and last through most of June.

“It’s gonna be difficult (for parents),” Damery said. “It’ll be interesting to see as people start to go back to work. It’ll be a difficult test to handle. Hopefully everything works out well for everyone. We’re just as disappointed as anybody we’re not able to offer it (Session #1).”

In Bloomington, the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department plans to accommodate the typical 100 campers, but now they'll be spread across three outdoor sites.

Bloomington’s camps usually start in early June. Now it’s June 29.

“We needed to have more time to get staff on board, because we didn’t know what the guidelines would be,” said Eric Veal, assistant director of Bloomington parks and rec. “And even though, to be quite honest, we still don’t know what the guidelines will be sixweeks from today, we are moving forward with the plan that we’ll be able to accommodate (campers), so now we can get staff on board to run the camp.”

Ideally, McLean County will be entering Phase 4 of the governor's reopening plan by June 29, meaning gatherings of up to 50 people will be OK.

“Depending on what the guidelines are, at that time, whether it’s Phase 3 or Phase 4, we can meet those requirements by separation,” Veal said.

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