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BC’s summer camp experiment

Two-week program pitched for another year after profit made

The Summer Enrichment Camp at Bethlehem Central will most likely be extended for a second year after attendance was greater than expected.

The Summer Enrichment Camp at Bethlehem Central will most likely be extended for a second year after attendance was greater than expected. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Bethlehem Central School District officials are looking to continue a summer enrichment camp for a second year after interest in the two-week program was greater than expected.

The district began the camp last year as an alternative option for parents who may find area summer camps too expensive and for children who may be too old for day care. Teachers were asked to be instructors for the program and a variety of classes in different fields were offered.

Elementary school teachers Laurel Jones and Peg Warner took charge of the project as a part of their administrative internship. They presented their findings to the Board of Education at a meeting in September.

“It was a really big success,” said Warner. “We weren’t even sure how many kids would end up enrolling but we had 148 students in enrichment camp over the two weeks.”

Parents were able to enroll their children in camp for one or two weeks, and were also given full- or half-day options. In total, nine students attended the program in its entirety while most opted for just one week of camp. The cost to enroll was $200 for a day and $120 for a half-day. Some programs included an additional supply fee. After care from 3 to 5 p.m. cost an additional $5.

“It wasn’t really utilized,” said Warner. “There were seven or eight kids every day and it’s an awful long time to then have to entertain them for an additional two hours. We would need some teenagers who have a little more energy after that to help facilitate after care.”

Twenty-nine courses were initially offered, but a majority were canceled because interest was low. In the end, 11 courses were offered from movie making and cooking to creative writing and sports, with more sections of those courses added to the schedule. The camp was open to those in grades three through eight.

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