Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa County opens up as Oklahoma enters phase 3 of reopening

But there are new regulations in place to ensure a safe environment for kids and staff.
Boys N Girls Club Ottawa County

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. – Oklahoma has entered phase 3 of their reopening plan, which means summer camps are now able to reopen.

7-year-old. Chloe Shelton, was excited to get back to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa County.

“My favorite thing to do is go say hi to my staff, and give them an air hug and play outside.”

But there are new regulations in place to ensure a safe environment for kids and staff.

“The first thing is our reduced capacity, we can only serve about 100 kids this summer based on the space we have here and at our secondary location, were keeping groups to no larger than 10, our staff are all wearing safety masks, we’re checking temperatures every day, making sure they’re washing their hands and that we have a very thorough cleaning process multiple times throughout the day” said CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa County, Mackenzie Garst.

The club usually holds around 250 kids. They are at full staff.
Garst says it was important to explain why things were different.

“We started out having conversations with our kids about what is COVID, what does that look like and kids are resilient, they’ve taken on that, processing what that looks like for the new normal for what our club will look like this summer.”

And it’s something Chloe understands.

“I understand and I like it because I don’t want the staff to get sick.”

But the kids are still able to play with the toys inside the club, go on adventures outside and see their friends.

“A club is designed to have kids in its doors and having fun and being kids that’s the sole purpose of our organization, so to have our doors back open and get the kids to their mentors that they look up to and provide them support is something we’re so excited about” added Garst.

And though the club is limited to the amount of kids they can see, Garst says there are ways you can keep your kids occupied at home.

“Find opportunities for them to stay active and busy, I’ve heard from so many people that say they’re kids are vegging out watching movies, tv and playing Fortnite and look for opportunities to give them some academic enrichment.”

The club is also looking for donations of toys to limit the cross contamination of board games, Legos, and other toys that the kids use.