MADISON — Are your children ready for an adventure after months of quarantine? How about summer camp with offerings including film animation, filmmaker’s boot camp, photography, art exploration and Zen retreat week.
For the last nine years, The Barn has offered summer camp at their 5,000-square-foot facility.
The nonprofit organization’s camp is directed toward ages 10 and up. This year, restrictions allow no more than 10 campers per session.
“We’re doing everything here to be safe and following all the guidelines,” said Co-Director Robyn Klaskin, regarding precautions in light of the COVID-19 epidemic.
That includes having three adults onsite “to monitor and make sure that everybody is safe,” Klaskin said.
Camps have started and will conclude with the Aug. 10 “Find Your Zen: A Retreat Camp 2020.” Each session goes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., five days a week.
In addition, two workshops are offered, meeting two hours for two days a week over a couple weeks. These include Filmmaker’s Boot Camp and Monologue Master Class.
While the doors were closed during state-required quarantining, children participated in weekly ZOOM events including bingo, trivia and DJ dance parties.
“It is nowhere near the same,” said Co-Director Tammy Boris. “They want to be together, so that’s why we’re looking forward to getting them back in here for summer camp.”
After briefly shutting down and canceling the spring production of “Little Mermaid,” with 55 cast members, Klaskin is happy to be opening again for the children who participate in The Barn’s programs.
“They consider The Barn part of their family and they were so sad that we couldn’t be here together and doing things,” Klaskin said.
“The kids, they create such bonds and friendships here — it was just sad to have all that taken away. So to be able to offer something, even to a limited amount of kids, is better than nothing.”
With limited funding, the plays help bring in the money essential to keep the organization’s programs operational.
“To lose such a huge production like that, that was a devastating blow,” said Trisha Barba, a member of the board of directors for the past five years.
Barba’s daughter, Carly, attended the camps for seven years and now serves as a mentor.
“It was great,” said Barba. “She got to come here, interact with all the other kids. It’s a very loving environment and all the kids look so forward to when they come in. It’s exciting, they have fun.
“Our main goal is to make sure that the kids enjoy their summer, they enjoy being up here, they make new friends and that they do build their self-esteem.”