Summer programs kick off in Marion as COVID-19 restrictions lifted

With children out of school for the summer and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relax mask guidelines for the summer camps, the youth programming is in full swing.

The same can be said in Marion, where some camps have already started for the season. Programming ranges from recreational activities, such as offers from the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club, to educational activities, such as the Summer Reading Club at the Marion Public Library.

If you’re still looking for a place to send your kids this summer, here’s a guide to some of the summer programs offered in Marion County.


The Marion Family YMCA started his summer camp on Tuesday. Executive Director Theresa Lubke said this year’s camp is full, with between 50 and 65 children per week enrolled. She believes parents are ready for their kids to participate in activities again after more than a year of virtual programming and restrictions.

“We have more children enrolled this year than in 2019,” said Lubke.

“There are fewer childcare options available in Marion right now and so, I think this makes YMCA day camp more prevalent for some families.”

The organization’s youth camp is open to children aged 5 to 11 and lasts 10 weeks, until August 6. Activities include water games, swimming, crafts, and gaga ball, a milder version of the dodge ball that is played in an octagonal pit. In addition, the children will take part in a weekly excursion, said Lubke. Venues include the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, the Lincoln Park Aquatic Center, the Marion Palace Theater, and the Explore-it-torium Children’s Museum.

For children aged 12 to 14, the YMCA offers the Leaders In Training camp.

“They are doing activities to develop their leadership skills, they are separated from the rest of the camp with more age-appropriate activities and they will also be doing community service projects,” said Lubke.

Lubke said masks can be worn at camp but are not mandatory.

Camp prices are $ 107 per week for YMCA members and $ 157 per week for non-members. Scholarships are available for those in need of financial assistance.

Although the camps are currently full, parents can still put their children on the waiting list, Lubke said.

“Until now, we have been able to accommodate people on the waiting list, so I would always encourage interested families to register, then as soon as places open up, we will inform them,” he said. she declared.

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Marion Public Library

Materials included in the art kit offered for the launch of the Marion Public Library's summer reading program.

The Summer Reading Club at the Marion Public Library also kicked off on Tuesday. With a theme related to animals entitled “Tails and Tales”, the library offers children and adolescents virtual programming through its Youtube channel. Topics include story time, games, and how to make your own origami.

For teens, the library offers the Virtual Creative Writing Program for Teens, where participants can pick up journals from the library and create their own creations using 16 writing prompts. There’s also the Teen Escape Room, where participants solve puzzles to escape a virtual space.

According to a press release, the club offers incentives to children who follow their readings during the summer. Kids can pick up a bingo sheet full of activities from the library and when the activities are over they receive a free book. Children can also get a free book by completing a reading journal for two weeks.

The program will end on July 31 with a virtual “Tails and Tales” puppet show.

Boys and Girls Club

Members of the Marion Boys and Girls Club celebrate the section's 25th anniversary on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

The Marion County Boys and Girls Club is offering its annual summer program starting June 7th. Open to children in Kindergarten to Grade 12, the program will include summer puzzle games, a week-long module that helps children retain information they learned in the previous school year, a said Director Maggie Breeding. Children will also be able to participate in arts and farming camps run by the Marion Palace Theater, the Marion County 4-H Club, and the Mid-Ohio Fine Art Society.

A BGC membership costs $ 20, with the summer program an additional $ 100 per child. Payment plans are available.

While the program is now complete, parents can still be added to a waiting list.

“These kids have missed so much over the past couple of years, so we’re really excited to give them a full summer program and get everything back to normal,” Breeding told The Star last month.

Marion County 4-H Club

Catherine Starrs shows off the turkey she exhibited on Monday, July 20, 2020 at the Marion County Junior Fair.  Starrs, a member of the Marion County Sharp Shooters 4-H Club, was joined in competition at the fair by her sister, Gemma.  Mom Mary Jo was helping her daughters.

Those looking for a traditional camp experience can try the Marion County 4-H Camp. Organized by the Marion County 4-H Club and OSU Extension, “Camp Gone Wild” will be held July 14-17 at 4-H Camp Ohio in St. Louisville. The camp is open to children from 8 to 13 years old.

Campers will be able to participate in several activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, line dancing, arts and crafts and vespers.

“Sometimes camp is the first time our kids get away from home,” 4-H educator Margo Long said at a virtual parent meeting last month.

“So they are able to have this personal growth and learn personal responsibility, independence, flexibility and respect for others.”

While the mask’s warrant has been lifted for “Camp Gone Wild,” safety protocols such as social distancing and sanitization will still be in effect, Long said.

The cost of the camp is $ 190 for members and $ 220 for non-members. Camp scholarships are available for 4-H members who are in financial need. The registration deadline is June 17th.

Long told The Star that the camp was almost full, but there were still places available. For more information, contact Long at [email protected]

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