EI Jr. Lifeguard and Jacksonville summer programs to continue as scheduled


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Many summer activities are being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. But summer camps in Jacksonville and Emerald Isle are giving children a small glimmer of hope.

The City of Jacksonville Recreation and Parks Department has remained open during the pandemic and allowed children to play at the Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center. Children’s programs have been available for parents in essential jobs.

Now, summer activities will be open to anyone. The department will host its annual eight-week summer camp.

This year, it’s limiting the number of children attending, reducing field trips, and lessening contact on games.

“We’re just really trying to be creative with that we provide for the summer, but still give them a very active, a very fun, a very social summer,” said Susan Baptist, director of recreation services.

Parents won’t be allowed inside the building and kids will be asked how they feel before stepping inside. Workers will follow CDC guidelines.

The Emerald Isle Fire Department will host it’s second Junior Lifeguard Program. The camp teaches kids how to identify rip currents, hands-on CPR, and ride on a jet ski if the weather permits.

“We want to try and give the children something to look forward to. I know a lot of things are being canceled,” said William Matthias, ocean rescue coordinator at EI Fire Dept.

Organizers from both departments have reported an increase in applicants for their summer programs.

Jacksonville’s summer camp begins June 15. The EI Jr. Lifeguard Program is scheduled for July.

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