MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Summer camps are some of the last things slated to open in Tennessee. Pinecrest summer camp in Fayette County will still host campers starting next month.
It just it won’t involve sleeping in cabins or jumping in the pool. It will all be online.
There’s something about the nature, cabins and fresh air of summer camp.
“I feel like Pinecrest is like a second home to me,” camper Madison Wilson said.
For the Wilson family, stays at Pinecrest summer camp span generations.
“I would move in that cabin with her if I could,” Madison’s mom, Elizabeth Wilson, said.
Decades before Madison became a camper at the Fayette County camp, her mom, Elizabeth, called it home every summer. The love they both have for Pinecrest made it a tough realization that summer camp would look different during this pandemic.
“This was absolutely the first place I thought of,” Madison said.
“Ultimately the decision came down to the safety of our campers and our counselors,” Pinecrest Summer Director Emmett Miskell said.
This spring, Pinecrest staff started talking about how summer camp would look this year.
“You’d have to sanitize the frisbee every time they through it,” Elizabeth said.
Pinecrest made the decision to go virtual. Week-long sessions are being planned that will incorporate the feel of camp.
“We’re going to do virtual cabins so every camper will have a counselor,” Miskell said.
Those counselors will organize full days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for their online campers with live videos and prerecorded activities.
“We have some arts and crafts as well as outdoor recreation items and indoor recreation items,” Miskell said
Miskell said the days are planned so kids can be independent. Campers will be sent a box of supplies they’ll need for activities.
It’s a help, especially for working parents.
“[My daughter] doesn’t need me all day. She can touch base with me, but she’s not constantly coming to me saying I need this or I need that,” Elizabeth Wilson said.
Registration for virtual summer camp starts June 1, with the first week starting the second week of June.
Madison will be there virtually. It’s a lesson that summer camp is more the nature, cabins and fresh air. It’s about the relationships made.
“I just like the people out there. It’s really special,” Madison said.