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Some Pittsburgh summer camps are going virtual during coronavirus pandemic

Kristine Sorensen
May13/ 2020

Summer is starting to look a lot different for families who had plans for kids to go to day camps, overnight camps and the pool.  Some of those camps are pivoting to digital offerings, with new updates every day.

Little Lake Theatre in Cannonsburg has been entertaining people with community theater for 72 years, but this will be the first time their summer camps will be online.

Artistic Director Jena Olberg and her team have put a lot of thought into how to do that.

“It’s not going to be just talking heads at a screen.  Every camp’s going to have physical components. Kids are moving around.  Kids are exploring,” Olberg says.

Kids will have several hours of classes with different teachers for acting, singing and dancing, and breaks built in for dance parties, dress up and just fun.

“I don’t think we give kids enough time to be silly in the day,” Olberg says, “and so we want those little breaks just to be a chance for kids to be kids.”

North Way Christian Community has also thought a lot about how to transition its summer kids program called Kids GIG, “Growing In God”, to all online.

Instead of dropping off kids at the church, there will be family activities at home, devotionals, challenges, mealtime discussions and an evening video program for the whole family.

“We are all trying to stay flexible. We’re keeping our eyes open,” says Ryan Paskey. “We have B plans and C plans and many different things.  We’re just keeping our eyes on everything because we don’t know how the release is going to go.”

The Carnegie Science Center, which offers more summer day camps than just about anywhere else in the region, emailed families to say camps before June 15th are canceled because the Science Center can’t open before then, and all camps for kids ages 4 and 5 are canceled.

They will keep parents updated on what will happen with the rest of the camps at least a month before the camp date.

Kristine Sorensen

I am proud to work at KDKA-TV -- anchoring the news, hosting Pittsburgh Today Live and doing special reports. I am married to KDKA reporter Marty Griffin and we have 3 children. I first moved to Pittsburgh in 1999 but I’ve lived in Dallas, Johnson City, Tenn., Chicago, Williamsburg, Va., Milwaukee and Winter Park, Fla. Pittsburgh is now the place I call home.

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