Campers can still enjoy arts and crafts, athletics, nature and the company of friends at Pocantico this summer, but it will be from the safety of their own backyard or patio.
The district is offering residents and non-residents a four-week virtual experience called “Camp Poco to Go.” It is open to children entering pre-kindergarten through ninth grade this fall for a flat fee of $100 per family.
The program, which runs from July 6-31, will offer more than 30 hours of programming each week. “Stars and Stripes!” is the theme for the first week, followed by “Poco Camp Out!” “Superheroes!” and “Color War!”
“Camp Poco to Go is actually so many of our favorite things from regular camp Poco, but it’s going to be at home in a way that we can stay safe and follow the social distancing that’s still in place right now,” Kerry Papa, the camp’s assistant director, said in a video promoting the program with Director Ryan King.
The virtual camp will provide opportunities for interaction and socialization for children, said Ms. Papa, who teaches third grade at Pocantico Hills School. It will be a combination of recorded content that children can access at any time (and watch as often as they would like), and live sessions with veteran camp specialists in athletics, wilderness activities, arts and crafts, and other camp favorites. Recorded content will be available starting the Sunday night before the themed week starts.
“The program is really built to foster social engagement for kids but also provide flexibility for families,” Ms. Papa said.
For the live sessions, Camp Poco to Go will send a schedule to parents before the themed week begins. Those sessions will t between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each camp day. Camp specialists will lead sessions, some of which will focus on social engagement, such as playing an online trivia game or chatting with other campers while eating breakfast. Virtual facilitators are all certified educators or mental health professionals.
“They can stay connected with their friends and have an opportunity to socialize with their peers of a similar age,” Ms. Papa said, adding that the sessions will balance on-screen and off-screen activities.
Families have the option of buying a $20 kit each week (per camper) of items related to the theme. The “Stars and Stripes” kit, for example, includes a patriotic flying disc; a stars and stripes glider; a red, white and blue jump rope; patriotic lantern and picture frame crafts; and more.
The camp will take place via the Microsoft Teams, a secure online platform that the school uses. Families can set up multiple accounts (one for each child) for the $100 fee, which covers all four weeks.
To register campers, log on to the Campsite Parent Portal on the Pocantico Hills School District website. Families that previously completed the registration process for Pocantico Hills Day Camp still need to enroll in the virtual program.
Parent Portal link (in case it didn’t get through above): https://www.pocanticohills.org/groups/4846/pocantico_hills_summer_camp/summer_day_camp