With the support of Corazón Healdsburg, the City of Healdsburg is launching a full-day camp and childcare program this summer, beginning June 8. This program will provide much-needed childcare for working parents and enriching activities for children after months of closed schools and other city programs, all in a safe environment following applicable health directives.
Camp HBG 2020 will feature a variety of engaging and academic activities, including arts and crafts, technology, science, reading and lots of outdoor games and projects. Children ages 2.5 to 11 years old will be able to attend Camp HBG 2020 and the hours of operation will be 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Early drop-off will also be available.
New COVID-19 health guidelines require a small group ratio of no more than 12 participants who meet on a consistent basis. This creates a need for increased physical space and has inspired the decision by the City to host the camps at two locations: the Healdsburg Community Center and the historic Villa Chanticleer.
“The City’s Community Center is a former elementary school so we are able to separate groups into multiple classrooms, plus we have large outdoor spaces including a blacktop and field area for the program to use,” said Dave Jahns, the City’s Recreation Manager. “Because the Villa Chanticleer cannot be used as an event facility right now, we have this great opportunity to use its large open rooms and expansive shaded grounds next to Fitch Mountain Park and Open Space Preserve for a more environmentally focused program.”
Demand for the various options will determine if one or both sites are needed, Jahns added.
City staff emphasized that the safety of program participants and staff will be a priority. The program will be operated in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 recommendations, including their social distancing, sanitation, and hygiene practice guidelines, as well as all other state and county requirements. The program will also incorporate best practices from other camps that have been operating for many weeks in other parts of California.
The program begins on June 8, but during the week of June 1 the City staff will be conducting a week-long pilot program with one small group of children. During the pilot program the City will check and evaluate the safety protocols that have been put in place and will adjust them if needed. During this first week of June, staff will also be meeting with individual parents interested in enrolling in the program either by phone or safely in person to provide tours. Appointments are being scheduled throughout the week at a variety of days and times by calling 707-431-3301.
“Ensuring the safety of our children and our staff will always be number one for us. We know families are having to make tough decisions and may have concerns about enrolling their children in any kind of group activity, so we’re encouraging parents and caregivers to come to us with any of their questions or concerns,” said Mark Themig, the City’s Community Services Director.
The weekly rate for Camp HBG 2020 will be $200 per child. There is significant financial assistance available, however, and if families have financial need they should contact Healdsburg Community Services staff. Corazón Healdsburg has spearheaded fundraising efforts for the financial assistance program and has already received substantial donations from Healdsburg Kiwanis and a local community member.
“We’re so grateful for our generous community, which is stepping up to make this program feasible for the kids and families of Healdsburg right now,” said Ariel Kelly, CEO of Corazón Healdsburg. “We see firsthand how families are struggling to navigate working from home or returning to work all while maintaining a safe and stable environment for their children. We are partnering with the City of Healdsburg this summer because we want to support affordable safe childcare for all local families.”
For more information about the Camp HBG 2020, please visit the program web page at www.cityofhealdsburg.org/campHBG or call (707) 431-3301. Community Services staff members are available this weekend (May 30 and 31) by phone from 12pm - 5pm and beginning Monday from 8:30am - 5pm.