Texas Forestry Museum: Precautions in place for kids summer camp

KTRE’S T’Ebonie Tanner reports how the museum is navigating summer camp and covid-19 protocols.

Texas Forestry Museum: Precautions in place for kids summer camp

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Summer is upon us and families across East Texas are trying to stay active.

In Lufkin, the Texas Forestry Museum is hosting summer camps for kids to engage in activities, while having fun. But things have changed this summer.

“We have curbside drop off and pick up. We are limiting how many people come into the museum. So, the parents just pull up and they can sign in their kid or sign them out,” Director, Kendall Gay said. “We do temperature checks outside under a tent, and the kids get hand sanitizer before they come in.”

Due to COVID-19 precautions, they have reduced from 10 kids per camp to only 5. Gay says they are trying to keep everyone separated.

“Each kid has their own table and we wrap them in a certain color. Every day they sit at that color table, so they are sitting in the same spot every day. They have their own supply box also. We have morning supply boxes and afternoons ones, so we wipe those down too.”

She says the staff is trying to keep everything as clean as possible.

“We let the kids know that they cannot go over to someone else’s table and help them with their activity. We normally encourage helping friends with their activity or doing some sort of group work, but it’s just not possible,” said Gay. “We have definitely encountered things that we didn’t anticipate, and we have had to adapt as those come up per camp session.”

The museum staff has had to be innovative when it comes to fun activities for kids to engage in. No touching means hide-and-seek with no tagging—which can be challenging.

“We have a lot of interacting things in our museum and our interact things are closed right now. The kids cannot have free play in our children’s wing as they normally world, so we have created a tape obstacle course on our floor. There is different hopping and balancing activities for them to do on it,” said Gay. “We made that because we thought well what if it’s raining and they can’t go outside, but they still have all this pent-up energy? You cannot just sit in a chair for four hours, so they have just really enjoyed doing that so far.”

She says keeping everyone safe is what is most important.

Officials say the kid’s summer camp is booked for the month, but they do have a waiting list available for people who are still interested in joining. The camps are $40 each, but they do have scholarships available to assist. For more information to sign up, contact The Texas Forestry Museum at (936) 632-9535.

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