Leading up to the launch of Camp Fire emergency program, leadership did a lot of work to assess the safety of the situation as well as the needs of our staff and our families. Because of our understanding that some are not able to stay home during this time due to work responsibilities, we decided to open program with support of the Anchorage School District and many others.

Community safety and well-being is our top priority during these unprecedented times in our history as an organization! We took steps to consider, plan, and implement all of the health procedures we are now enacting at our programs. We wanted to share some changes now that we are joining others in a great effort to flatten the curve.

At Camp Fire, one of the cornerstones is building relationships with others, and as we all know, kids LOVE to be close to others—doing so provides a sense of togetherness, belonging, and safety. Now that we are implementing rules that encourage kids and staff to maintain 6 feet of distance at all times, it does pose a difficulty to children entering our program. BUT, we have come up with some very creative ways to make their experience feel fun and comfortable while maintaining their physical health.

Staff are leading kids in several different activities that stimulate their minds and provoke thoughtful interactions; not only are staff getting creative, so are the kids! This week they have been enjoying time in the gym where they play pool noodle tag to burn off some steam and learning wellness breathing techniques to slow down and calm their minds. Kids have also been doing art projects like making paper fans, pin wheels, kite suncatchers, and even blow paint germs! They have entertained each other quite humorously with clothespin puppet shows and decorated cards to write kind messages for Anchorage’s senior citizens.

Kids also enjoy STEM learning projects: building the three little pigs’ house out of popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners while keeping in mind the big bad hairdryer might blow it down, competing to see whose Lego boat can hold the most weight without sinking, and, their absolute favorite, building marshmallow catapults to see how far they can get the marshmallow across the room.

This week they have done “Big Idea Projects”, where they come up with ideas that connect them to others. This week they’ve done an experiment about germs using bread, made a hand print collage, and a ‘We Rise’ poster to reflect the strength of humanity. In addition to these interactive activities, children are also given time throughout the day to work on their individual school work with assistance from Camp Fire staff.

Looking for more information about our program procedures? Click Here.