Fitness for kids: BG Parks and Rec starts day camps

Bowling Green’s Parks and Recreation is finalizing the procedures for children day camps for the rest of
the summer.
Ivan Kovacevic, the recreation coordinator, and Eric Fletcher, the sports specialist, have been reviewing
the different guidelines and looking at what they could provide for the community within the state’s
coronavirus guidelines.
“As eager as they (the kids) have been to get involved again, we have been that eager to provide some
type of service for them,” Kovacevic said. “We understand the importance of our department and what our
programming has for people.
“This summer we have had to cut out a lot of things because of restrictions,” Kovacevic continued. “There
will be a fitness outlet for the kids. I think a lot of people want to see some kind of semblance of
being normal again … sports and recreation are a great outlet for children.”
With the pandemic, the waiting to see if there would be summer programs and what the guidelines would be
have been difficult for Kovacevic and Fletcher.
“A lot of this time has been just trying to gather as many different ideas … talking to other individuals
in the industry and bouncing ideas off of each other,” Kovacevic said. “Once we got the guidelines,
sitting down and going through them checklist by checklist, we basically figured out we can do this, and
we can’t do this.”
“The waiting game and the parameters were definitely the challenges we were facing,” Fletcher said. “The
traditional sports like football and basketball were hard because we had to take away that contact part
of the sport and then be creative by coming up with drills and things that they can use.”
Programs at the Bowling Green Community Center include a variety day camp, obstacle course “prevail
trail” events, youth football skills, youth soccer skills and youth basketball sports skill training. At
Eli Joyce Field in City Park there will be youth softball skills training.
For each session of the variety day camp and all sports activities except basketball, there will be nine
participants. For basketball there will be six youths, one for each hoop in the community center.
“We are just trying to be a little bit more creative and trying to get an idea of what other facilities
around the country have been doing,” Kovacevic said. “Other activities we have done in the past, we are
going to continue to do just doing them in a slightly different way.”
The tentative starting dates are June 22 for the variety camp, June 29 for the obstacle course and
softball, July 27 for basketball, July 31 for football, and Aug. 14 for soccer. Camps will continue
through July and into August as the programs can provide diverse programming throughout the remainder of
the summer.
“The variety day camp will be a little bit of everything,” Kovacevic said. “Those tend to be some of our
most popular day camps under normal circumstances. This year we are just adding a little bit more
variety to it, emphasizing a lot of social distancing with each child getting an assigned area.
“In a typical camp you might be sharing a lot of different supplies. Here every child will get their
own,” Kovacevic added. “A lot of things the kids can do by their desks and we will be doing some stuff
outside as well.”
“Since we are starting these programs, the number one focus would be safety,” Fletcher said. “We are
trying to be as creative as we can, but we want to be as safe as we can.
“Families that have children, we want them to be healthy and protect them like they are our own. We have
to keep that in mind with these programs,” he added.
The day camp will also use the obstacle course behind the community center as there is a good space for
kids to be outside and spread out. There will also be a little bit of everything, including physical
fitness, arts and crafts, science experiments, movies, food decoration and a Hollywood theme week as the
kids will create their own original camp movie.
The obstacle course events will be different from the day camps, including activities during the day as
well as in the evening.
“There will be some quick-hit programs. People can come for an hour and 15 minutes and get an overview of
what the obstacle course is all about and do some fun activities in competitions,” Kovacevic said.
“The sports camps will be emphasized on skills and not a head-to-head-competition,” he added. “There will
be some fun competitions that don’t involve direct face-to-face interaction.”
Also if there would be an opportunity to develop some more individual events or different activities
along the way Kovacevic and Fletcher will try to do that.
The website and Facebook for Parks and Recreation will continue to use the virtual community that has
been developed.