Even with pools closed, camps canceled, there are still some summer options for KC kids

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This summer will be far from traditional for kids across the metro. 

It’s usually a kid’s favorite time of year. There’s no school and a lot of outdoor activities.

But this year, public pools won’t be opening, many summer camps won’t be happening and there are few options left due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Open spots for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City’s summer program are a hot commodity.

“Historically we’ll do in all of our programs, probably three times as many children as we’re accommodating this summer. So for us, the demand is higher because there’s less spaces,” said Waymond King, senior director of operations and programs.

The organization’s summer program starts up next week. The club said due to the COVID-19 restrictions, they’re doing things differently to keep kids safe.

“In the classroom setting, we do actually have social distancing set up. We have tables and chairs in designated areas,” King said.

While the Boys & Girls Club is focusing on kids ages 5-12, community outreach leader Pat Clarke is trying to keep teens busy. The goal of his “ENJOY Program” is to teach kids life skills while keeping them out of trouble.

“All of these killings have been senseless,” Clarke said. “So just imagine a kid with nothing to do. I often say, I rather put a rake in his hand, a bag in his hand or trash bag, than a bag of weed or a gun in his hand.”

This summer may be different, but it doesn’t have to be a summer wasted.

Clarke said the ENJOY Program is a partnership with the city of Kansas City. Teens will be paid each week they work. If you’re interested in applying, email patclarke48@gmail.com or 816-977-3116.

The Boys & Girls Clubs will have virtual programs for teens. If you’re interested in applying, go to helpkckids.org.

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