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After a day that included a field trip to Chuck-E-Cheese, children attending BREC's summer camp at Zachary Community Park wait for their parents.

Registration will begin Friday for BREC's virtual and in-person summer camps, the East Baton Rouge Parish's parks and recreation system announced Thursday.

Parents can choose to enroll their kids in virtual-only camps scheduled for  June 1-5 and in-person summer camps and virtual camp experiences scheduled from June 8 to July 31.

"As the local economy continues to reopen, summer camps and summer experiences are more important than ever to allow parents to get back to work," BREC Superintendent Corey Wilson said in a news release Thursday.

BREC usually offers more than 40 camps during the summer with anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 available slots. Officials say they plan to offer less than half that this year.

In-person camps will be scaled back this year in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. There will be a limit of nine children for each adult.

BREC staff will conduct temperature checks, frequently sanitize supplies and facilities, encourage physical distancing, rotate camp experiences among small groups and wear masks while working with children and their parents, according to the news release.

"We have carefully considered every aspect of these experiences down to the number of children that will be allowed to sit at a table, how to provide art experiences without anyone sharing materials, exciting guests who bring new experiences to campers to replace the traditional field trips as well as the creation of online experiences that are interactive and challenging for all ages," Wilson said.

Because the in-person camps will be limited, BREC is beefing up its online offerings. 

"While the experience will be different, this year BREC will be even more accessible across the parish with a combination of online and in-person experiences," Wilson said.

BREC’s virtual camps will involve interactive streaming experiences with "Camp in a Bag" supplies that participants can retrieve at six different BREC park locations.. All of BREC camps are inclusive and welcome children of all abilities.

BREC will offer virtual experiences through Independence Park Theatre, Magnolia Mound and Highland Road Park Observatory through week one and offer virtual experiences through Community Recreation, Conservation and BREC Art throughout the summer.

Registration will open at 9 a.m. Friday for the first week of virtual camp. For weeks two through four, registration for virtual and in-person camps will open Tuesday, May 26 at 9 a.m. Available opportunities and registration details for the month of July will be announced sometime in June as additional information becomes available from public health officials. 

Parents or guardians must register online at webtrac.brec.org for all online and in-person locations this summer and they can register for more than one camp or activity during a day.

When the city-parish moves into phases two and three of reopening, BREC will offer tennis instruction, equestrian instruction at Farr Park and Outdoor Adventure programs as well as opportunities for teens and children with physical and developmental disabilities, officials said. 


Email Terry Jones at tjones@theadvocate.com