ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Parents say they are looking forward to life after COVID with some much-needed activities for their kids
"It's been rough," said Orangeburg resident Celia Clark. "Staying inside has been rough, and not communicate and interact with a lot of people you're normally around."
"I'm a stay-at-home mom, and it's always been really easy for them to get social interaction with other children their age," said St. Matthews resident Taylor Jones. However, the pandemic made that very difficult."
With school coming to a wrap, the City of Orangeburg is marking June 1st as the kick-off of summer by reopening facilities like the spray park and registration for youth sports camps.
"We missed the spray park desperately," Jones said. "I'm so excited the spray park is back. I didn't know it was coming back!"
Taylor Jones is a mother of two small boys who are four and six-year-old. Jones says having certain facilities and camps shut down due to the pandemic has been a struggle on her kid's development.
"I've seen a big decline in their social interaction with other kids," said Jones. "That has made me nervous. I'm excited to exercise that some more."
Reservations for outdoor picnic shelters, the Garden Stage, and Centennial Park open are now available as well. Those reservations can be made through the Orangeburg Parks and Recreation Department. Parents say they expect more outdoor gatherings to start happening in Orangeburg.
"It's something to give the kids to do," said Clark. "Not to be stuck in the house and bored. It's a chance to get out."
"It's been a hurdle to find ways to gather and come together," explained Jones. "It's going to be so helpful to have that door open."
The Spray Park opens June 5th and will operate daily through Sunday, August 8th. Hours of operation are as follows:
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 1:00-6:00 pm.
- Fridays and Saturdays 10:00am-5:00pm.
- Sundays 1:00-5:00pm.
Private Spray Park rentals are available after normal operating hours. New this year, the Spray Park offers private rentals to local daycares on weekday mornings before opening the park to the public. For more information and pricing on rentals, please call Meredith Garris, Program Coordinator, at 803-533-6020 or visit the Parks and Recreation Department, 367 Green Street.
Registration begins Monday, May 24th, for Parks and Recreation’s summer basketball league for boys and girls ages 4-14. Registration is $30 for city residents and $55 for non-city residents. Registration is available online at orangeburgparks.com or in-person at 367 Green Street.
Only a limited number of spaces are available for this year’s Summer Camp, a four-week camp from June 14th until July 9 from 9:00 am-3:00 pm at the Youth Canteen. Activities for six to 10-year-olds include scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, sports challenges, games, guest speakers and plenty of fun. Registration is $100 for city residents and $125 for non-city residents. Register in person at 367 Green Street.
Athletic weekly specialty camps for basketball, soccer, baseball, and softball are also planned for young athletes to work on skills and drills.
Basketball camp will be hosted at the City Gym, 410 Broughton Street, Monday-Friday, June 14-18, from 9:00 am-3:00 pm for boys and girls ages 8-18. Registration is $50 per child.
Soccer camp will be hosted by Challenger Sports at Hillcrest Recreation Complex Monday-Friday, June 21-25, from 9:00, am-4:00 pm for boys and girls ages 7-14. Registration is $130 for a half-day and $180 for a full day. For more information on basketball and soccer camps, please contact Zachary Tarrant, Athletic Coordinator, at 803-533-6020.
Weekly baseball and softball camps for ages 5-12 will be held July 19-July 30 at Orangeburg Recreation Park, 224 Magnolia Village Parkway off of North Road. Registration is $40 per week. For more information, contact Manny Wright, Facility Coordinator, at 803-533-6020.
Online registration is available for summer basketball league and all athletic specialty camps at orangeburgparks.com.