Camp Harbor View on Boston’s Long Island hosts about 1,000 inner-city campers each summer. This year the camp will remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, that does not mean the caring staff at CHV is going to forget about the kids they have grown to love!
Many staff spent Wednesday making special ‘summer engagement kits’ for cancelled campers. They stuffed 750 backpacks and household bins with games, toys, books, learning tools, art supplies, household supplies, masks, camp apparel, grocery gift cards and more.
The camp decided it simply could not guarantee the safety of the hundreds of campers since so much is still unknown about the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit we were so saddened to realize that we weren’t going to be able to have programming on our island for the nearly thousand kids that we serve here in Boston,” said camp Executive Direct Lisa Fortenberry. “So we knew right away that we had to recalibrate and figure out what was next.”
“It’s really hard for us to duplicate normalcy. It’s going to be really a tough summer, I think,” added Camp Harbor View President Sharon McNally. “So we’re hoping that this will bring a little bit of a reminder of what camp is all about.”
There will also be some virtual camp sessions made available to all 2020 registered campers.
Families in need will be provided with meals and gift cards along with their fun and educational items.
“They’re camp families. We’ve been at it for 14 years, and just because things change we can’t walk away from the families,” said Jack Connors, the Chairman and Co-founder of Camp Harbor View. “There’s no substitute for watching several hundred kids have a great time in a safe, happy, beautiful environment. They see LNG tankers. They see cruise ships. They see things they’ve never seen in their six-block neighborhood.”
Although they miss the kids, the camp staff hopes the summer engagement kits will help make the season a little easier.
The kits will be delivered by school bus throughout the summer.