Summer camps return

despite COVID-19 challenges
Social distancing will likely not allow this scene from 2019 Dreamcatchers camps, but students are guaranteed the same amount of enjoyment. by Cheryl Helton

Social distancing will likely not allow this scene from 2019 Dreamcatchers camps, but students are guaranteed the same amount of enjoyment. by Cheryl Helton

Even though there has been a delay in the return of summer camps, the Blount County Education Foundation is excited to announce three programs for summer learning. Several schools will offer one-week library/literacy camps. There will be a three-week Dreamcatchers camp at Susan Moore, and the third program will include a series of virtual camps designed to inspire and engage students who usually attend these camps in a new and different way. All COVID-19 state guidelines will be adhered to during the face-to-face camps.

The one-week summer library/literacy camps will feature a variety of activities for students in elementary grades. Southeastern High will host the first camp from July 6 through July 10. Appalachian High, Blountsville Elementary, Cleveland Elementary, Hayden Primary, and Locust Fork Elementary will each hold their camp from July 13 to July 17, while Hayden Elementary will host their camp July 20 through July 24.

The library/literacy camps will also include the Literacy Act Camps for this year. This year’s theme will be Literacy and STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math). Breakfast and lunch will be provided to campers each day through the BCEF Summer Feeding Program.



Beginning July 6, a three-week Dreamcatchers camp will serve students from Susan Moore, as well as migrant students from Appalachian, Blountsville, and Cleveland. The “It’s a Small, Small World” theme will also include STREAM. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade can attend Dreamcatchers camp.

Daily sessions will begin at 7:45 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m. Topics included are reading, math, library/literacy, enrichment (art, music, geography/countries of the world, and STEAM). Breakfast and lunch will be provided through the BCEF Summer Feeding Program as well. Transportation for Dreamcatchers will be provided. Dreamcatchers camp will wrap up on July 24.

Registration for summer camps can be completed one of two ways. Schools will contact student households for those who wish to sign up for the camps, or parents may contact their respective school to register their child(ren).

Stedents work together during the 2019 Dreamcatchers camps.

Students work together during the 2019 Dreamcatchers camps.

The third and final part of summer camps will be a series of virtual camps and will include visual arts camp, music camp, chef camp, STEAM Challenges, and more. The virtual camps will also include links to great activities provided by others like storyteller and author Carmen Agra Deedy’s “Friday Read Aloud” series. Announcements of the camps for the week will be made each Monday.

The first virtual camp (announced Monday) is scheduled for 11 a.m. today, June 17, on the BCEF Facebook page. BCEF director Danna Standridge will be sharing how to make her ugly biscuits in the Chefs Camp series.

The Blount County Education Foundation invites everyone to visit their Facebook page to participate. The camps will also be archived on BCEF’s YouTube channel.

Executive director Mitchie Neel said, “BCEF is so pleased we will be able to offer a variety of camps again this summer in spite of COVID-19 challenges. We encourage students to participate in our virtual camps, which will be fun topics to explore. We are so excited to be able to offer the Summer Literacy Library and Dreamcatchers camps face-to-face in July.”



Sponsors for all three summer programs include: Altec Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield Caring Foundation, Cawaco RC&D Council, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Goodrich Foundation, Holle Family Foundation, Becky McMillian, SAIL Coalition (Summer Adventures in Learning), United Way of Central Alabama, and Blount County Board of Education. Without the generosity of these sponsors, none of these programs would happen.