Waterbury Parks and Recreation Center scrambling to find summer camp space

Every summer, the Waterbury Parks and Recreation Center hosts day camps for kids in kindergarten through seventh grade from late June to early August. Camps run all day, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are a child care haven for parents with restless children on summer break.

At the Waterbury Select Board meeting on Monday, May 18, the director of the Waterbury Parks and Recreation Center, Nick Nadeau, spoke to the board about options for summer camp in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board directed Nadeau to continue to make plans for 2020 summer camp, although the locations and logistics of summer camp groups still need to be negotiated.

The Waterbury Parks and Recreation Center is limited to hosting a maximum of 25 people per location, campers and staff included, which means in order to accommodate all campers it will need access to more places to host campers.

Nadeau told board members that he had looked into hosting camp at the Waterbury Ice Center as well as various elementary school campuses, but his requests were turned down. Neither the Ice Center nor any of the HUUSD elementary schools are opening their facilities this summer.

Going forward, both Nadeau and select board members will be on the hunt for summer camp locations, understanding the importance of summer child care for working parents. They are currently looking into local churches as possible camp locations.

Additionally, although the board did not make a motion on this topic, it suggested that the Waterbury pool stay closed this year. A final decision on the pool will be made on June 1.