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These East TN summer camps are staying open this summer

Despite COVID-19 cancelling many camps across East Tennessee, many organizations are still taking campers and implementing safety measures

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Summertime means camp for the kiddos, but things might look a little different this summer. 

Many camps have decided to cancel or postpone at this time, others are trying their best to get creative or implement safety measures.

In Oak Ridge, the Recreation & Parks Summer Camp will carry on with their activities.

They plan to separate kids into smaller groups, and have access to a 30 thousand square foot building that will be closed to the public. They'll have a pool, playground, and space for activities.

They say it was important to find a way for camp to continue for the students and the counselors.

"The kids are hungry to get out and socialize, which is healthy for their development, especially the younger ones. We also have 20 young adults looking for summer jobs. It's all those things married together. It's an essential service we wanted to provide," Matt Reedy, Recreation Manager said.

RELATED: East TN summer camps get creative to social distance, provide sense of normalcy to children

Kids will bring their own lunches from home and there will be extra hand washing.

"The very first day of camp, the kids will make masks out of t-shirts and decorate them, and they will used them in hallways and wear them if we are able to take small trips," said Reedy.

The camp hopes to take field trips throughout the summer but will plan these further along depending on safety guidelines in the community.

There are still camper spots available. You can find out more here.

RELATED: YMCA, Boys and Girls Club partners with the state to offer free childcare to essential workers

RELATED: Free child care available for children of some essential workers during coronavirus pandemic


Zoo Knoxville's day camp - The zoo's camp activities include animal interactions, games, crafts, activities, excursions through the zoo and trips behind-the-scenes.

UT Garden's Discovery Camp - things are going virtual at UT gardens! Parents can pickup a Garden Camp Kit with supplies their kids can do at home.

The Cutting Edge Classroom Cooking Camp - Students can go on a culinary journey this summer and learn to be chefs! 

Tate's Day Camp - A wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities for kids.

Children's Museum of Oak Ridge - Imagination Station Summer Camp is fun for students K-12 and will have special COVID safety guidelines in place.

Knoxville Youth Athletics Track & Field - Open to all girls and boys ages 5-18 interested in track and field, running and athletics.

Knoxville Zoo - Kids ages 4-13 can learn about animals from all over the world this summer.

FlipFest - This gymnastics camp helps athletes work on their skills while having fun. There will also be special guest visits from Olympians!

Dragonfly's Children's Circus Camp - Juggling, trapeze and acrobatics galore at Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio! This camp will give you a chance to explore all those and more. 

Flying Anvil Kids Theater Camp - Students wanting to sharpen their acting skills? Camp will be virtual for June and in-person in July.