HUDSON, Ill. (WMBD) — Summertime is finally here and this year that means the return of summer camps for area kids.
The Kiwani’s Club of Bloomington-Normal brought back one of its annual week-long camps as Illinois comes out of the pandemic.
The Easterseals Timber Pointe Center at Lake Bloomington hosted Camp Limberlost, a day-camp for kids in the Bloomington-Normal school districts, Unit 5 and District 87. It’s a week-long activity where they can enjoy the outdoors and take away some neat experiences.
Slip and Slides, arts and crafts, and fishing are just some of the activities campers at Camp Limberlost can experience during the week. It’s been an annual project for the Bloomington Kiwanis Club for 91 years, starting in 1930.
Paula Pratt a co-chair for the event said it’s good to be back after taking last year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You can’t replace the relationships they build, the relationships they build with the counselors here at the camp,” Pratt said.
Pratt said it gives campers and experience they wouldn’t normally get to have.
“My favorite thing has been horseback riding, I’ve dreamed about it since I was six. “We get to ride horses and swim and learn to paddle on a boat.,” kids attending the camp said.
The Kiwanis partner with Easterseals Timber Pointe Outdoor Center, which is reopening its popular attractions to all campers this year. Allen McBride the camp director said the campgrounds host multiple groups throughout the year.
“The swimming pool is open, horseback riding is open, our ziplining and giant swing,” McBride said.
McBride said the camp experience is more than just the fun activities.
“What it’s really about is making the connection with your peers and having good role models to look towards and know how to react when we try something new,” McBride said. “They’re taking some of these life skills back with them in a different environment that they might not be getting in school. They’re just getting in a lot more open space and a lot more opportunities to experience failure in a new environment.”
The camp normally hosts around 100 area school kids but was cut in half this year to be safer from COVID-19.
Students are chosen by their elementary school teachers and then recommended to the Kiwanis and Timber Pointe Staff.