BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Summer camps have had to get creative as they work to provide kids with some sort of normalcy during this pandemic.
One camp in Baltimore is even offering their service, free of charge, to families who have been economically impacted by COVID.
Thanks to a grant from the Baltimore Summer Funding Collaborative, the Beyond the Natural Foundation LLC, a non-profit after school music program, will be offering a tuition-free summer music camp to families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
“It was our goal to be a resource for our community, amidst this pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on American lives,” said Robert Levine III, the group’s founding executive director.
The camp, which is open to Baltimore City families, runs through August 21 and provides an outlet to children who have been cooped up for the past several months.
“I’m just so happy to be here,” said camper Amora Lee.
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“There’s so many things to do, it’s involving music, fun, math and science,” said Jacob Hewlett, another camper.
While music is the backbone of the program, kids also explore nature, do arts and crafts and other academic activities.
“We just wanted to make sure that we were able to give kids an outlet away from home,” said Lavine, “and parents don’t have to worry about finances or anything like that.”
One key difference this year is the camp’s new hybrid schedule.
Campers are split into two groups based on age. Half the campers attend in person, while the others do online activities, They switch on Wednesday. On Friday, the entire camp meets virtually.
“Ultimately, we want our kids to grow and become creatively confident,” Levine said. “Have fun and remain safe.”
The camp still has a few spots available. Campers must be “Baltimore City and have parents or legal guardians who have either been unemployed, furloughed or experienced a 50% reduction in work hours as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.“