Frisco businesses moving forward with plans for summer camps amid pandemic

Sci-Tech Discovery Center is currently offering a number of virtual classes and plans to reopen for summer camp on June 15. (Courtesy Sci-Tech Discovery Center)
Sci-Tech Discovery Center is currently offering a number of virtual classes and plans to reopen for summer camp on June 15. (Courtesy Sci-Tech Discovery Center)

Sci-Tech Discovery Center is currently offering a number of virtual classes and plans to reopen for summer camp on June 15. (Courtesy Sci-Tech Discovery Center)

Image description
Eagle Gymnastics Academy plans to have summer camps this year with fewer participants than usual. (Courtesy Eagle Gymnastics Academy)
With gyms, exercise facilities and places that offer classes allowed to operate at 25% capacity beginning May 18, a number of Frisco businesses are planning to hold summer camps for children.

“There's going to be a contingent of parents that are itching to get out of the house,” said David Agius, co-owner of the Code Ninjas location on Stonebrook Parkway in west Frisco. “I know I am.”

Agius said the local computer coding facility has a full slate of camps planned, with a number of safety procedures in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to lower the number of seats available [for the camps],” he said. “We’ve thoroughly cleaned the center. We set apart the tables to meet social distancing requirements, so we're only seating one child per table. We've instituted in-day cleanings. We’re sanitizing the computers after each visit [and] encouraging our students to wash their hands frequently.”

Code Ninjas staff will also be wearing masks, though students will not be required to do so.


Masks also will not be mandatory for students at Eagle Gymnastics Academy or 4 The Love of Dance. Both are planning summer camps.

“We're trying to do [social] distancing instead of masks because those would be really hard to 1) teach [in] and 2) just breathe with the masks on when we're doing dance classes,” 4 The Love of Dance owner Kristin Shepherd said. “If we have requests from parents to [wear masks], we're willing to pretty much do whatever to stay open at this point.”

Shepherd said the dance school has not had anyone sign up for its summer camps since March, but she has also not been advertising them.

“We just [plan to] do the same thing we normally do, [but] have them a little bit more spaced apart, [with] less kids in the classroom,” Shepherd said. “I was nervous to advertise something that I didn't know if I would be able to fulfill. Even if they're at 25% [capacity], then I hope to be able to at least do that much.”

Eagle Gymnastics co-owner Ginger Fox said she has gotten a good amount of interest for her facility’s planned camps.

“We’re hosting some, [but] not our normal schedule,” Fox said. “Right now it’s kind of limited. It depends on the numbers in the gym because we can only do a certain amount in the gym.”

Eagle Gymnastics and 4 The Love of Dance are also planning to do temperature screenings for campers. That is a safety element also being considered by Sci-Tech Discovery Center and North Texas Performing Arts-Frisco.

Both of those facilities are offering a number of virtual classes and have tentative plans for in-person camps in June.

“Our virtual summer camps will start June 1 for sure,” NTPA Senior Marketing Director Lauren Boykin said. “We're hopeful that we'll be able to open up the in-person summer camps in June as well, but we're just waiting for some more guidance from the governor.”

Sloan Pielli, director of Sci-Tech Discovery Center’s Education Department, said the Frisco museum currently plans to reopen for summer camp on June 15. To prepare for that, she said the facility’s staff have been monitoring state and federal guidelines as well as those from the American Camp Association.

“We've always wanted to err on the side of caution,” Pielli said. “We have families who I've spoken to who would start camps right now if I opened them up, but we just don't feel like that’s safe.”

At Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts, owner and Executive Director Chris Duncan said health and safety are the school's No. 1 priorities.

“We built our buildings with moveable walls, so we have doubled the space [for our camps],” Duncan said. “Our piano camp is going to be in our regular weekly piano lab classroom, but we've opened up the walls [and] spread out the pianos.”

Duncan said she anticipates the school’s camps will have fewer participants this year, but said she has heard from parents who are excited for classes that can engage their children.

“With the restaurants opening and all the other facilities, little by little [parents] are ready to get into summer camps,” Duncan said. “They've [been] up to their eyeballs in school, so they're ready to do stuff, and they know their kids are ready to do stuff.”
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is editor of the Frisco edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


MOST RECENT

baseball field
Frisco RoughRiders cancel weekend home series following COVID-19 outbreak in front office

A coronavirus outbreak among the front office staff of the Frisco RoughRiders has prompted the cancellation of the July 3-5 series at Dr Pepper Ballpark for the temporary expansion team in the Texas Collegiate League.

Frisco sees increase in active COVID-19 case average

More on Frisco, Collin County, Denton County and the state's coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

Part of the 40-foot mural will pay homage to the old Double Dip that was once on the property and feature icons, such as Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Lee. (Courtesy Nack Development)
Development update: Mural in the works at The Patios at the Rail in Frisco

Part of the 40-foot mural will pay homage to the old Double Dip that was once on the property and feature icons, such as Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Lee.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August. (Courtesy Walmart)
Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

Families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8 with sessions led by celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James.

CoServ executives accepting award
CoServ annual meeting to be virtual this year

CoServ has announced its virtual meeting plans to replace a physical meeting that has drawn up to 3,000 customers in the past.

Frisco has had approximately 13,000 residents filed for unemployment insurance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
13K Frisco residents have filed for unemployment during pandemic, data shows

The Frisco area saw nearly 1,800 residents file for unemployment insurance in the most recent period between May 20-June 20.

House
Denton County to continue partnering with United Way for rent, mortgage relief

Keeping people in their homes and keeping the economy churning were key topics during the Denton County Commissioners Court discussion June 30.

Money stock art
Comptroller: Texas June sales tax revenue totaled $2.7 billion, down 6.5% from a year ago

The Texas comptroller's office has released June sales tax revenue figures.