Dear Friends of Merrimack Parks & Recreation,
All of us here at the Parks & Recreation Department hope that this email finds you and your families healthy and safe. Like all Town Departments; the Parks & Recreation Department is doing all that we can to continue operating as smoothly as possible while trying to plan ahead amidst the uncertainties of this pandemic.
I would like to take a brief moment to remind the Merrimack community that the Merrimack Town Council and Town Manager Eileen Cabanel have closed the following recreational facilities until further notice:
Other amenities within our Town Parks (Tennis Courts, Dog Park, walking trails, Open Space Areas, etc.) will remain open at this time as long as visitors continue maintaining proper social distancing.
SUMMER CAMP STATUS:
As you may have seen on the news; Governor Sununu has finally announced the guidelines that allow Day Camps in New Hampshire to open this summer. While we have been working steadily towards getting camp ready to open on time this summer; there are also several time-consuming tasks that we were unable to do in advance until we received the Governor’s guidance document yesterday. We obviously need to let you know what health & safety procedures we will implementing in camp as well as give you time to submit medical forms and payments; get our staff trained, update our procedure manuals and finalize our camp schedule.
While the Governor said that Camps in NH can officially open as early as June 22nd; there are several new items in the Governor’s guidance document that were not in the draft document that we had previously received. Some of these new guidelines are poorly defined and are a potential cause of concern which may affect our ability to run Camp this summer. We have reached out to the Department of Public Health for clarification on these items. As a result of this delay, we do not feel that we will be ready to open Camp in just 3 weeks. At this time, we must reluctantly cancel Session 1 of Naticook Day Camp.
What we do know right now is that Camp is going to look a little different this summer and will include smaller group sizes with no more than 10 people in a group (campers & staff) and your child’s group will not interact with any other group throughout the camp day. We will be conducting daily health checks of all staff members before they enter camp each day, as well as screening campers every day upon arrival. There will be a significant focus on hand washing and socially distant camp activities.
The other important item that we learned on Friday is that field trips must be cancelled this summer. As a result; we are forced to cancel Camp Trek in its entirety for this summer.
Once we receive further guidance from the State of NH; we will need to present our plans to Town officials to ensure that we can meet all of the guidelines. It is our current hope to open up Naticook Day Camp on Monday, June 29th, but further delays are possible.
Please note that if you are registered for Session 1 of Naticook Day Camp; you are not automatically transferred to Session 2. We have four options for you to choose from at this time.
Option 1: If your child is attending another session later in the summer, we can simply apply your session 1 payment to any balance due for that later session.
Option 2: We can transfer you into a session later in the summer if space is available. We will reach out to you to confirm availability.
Option 3: If you have paid in full for the summer, you may choose to get a refund of your Session 1 payment.
Option 4: You may choose to withdraw from all sessions of Naticook Day Camp, and we will refund your payment in full.
Please click on the link below to make your selection:
For those of you who were registered for Camp TREK; we have two options for you to choose from:
Option 1: You may choose to transfer from a Camp TREK session to a Naticook Day Camp session if space is available.
Option 2: You may choose to withdraw from all sessions of Camp TREK, and we will refund your payment in full.
Please click on the link below to make your selection:
*If we do not hear from you by June 14th; then we will automatically issue you a refund. Refunds are issued by check and can take 2 - 3 weeks to be processed.
Our number one priority has always been and will continue to be health & safety of our Campers and our Staff. Now more than ever, campers need the summer camp experience and a return to some sense of normalcy.
If you have any questions please contact Program Coordinator James Golisano at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 603-420-1664.
Matthew Casparius, CPRE
Director of Parks & Recreation
Town offices (including the Parks & Recreation Department) are currently closed to the public, but Program Coordinator James Golisano and I are still available by phone and by email to answer any questions that you may have.
You can reach us by calling the Parks & Recreation Office at 603-882-1046.
James Golisano, Program Coordinator email@example.com
Matt Casparius, Director of Parks & Recreation - firstname.lastname@example.org
As Recreation professionals, part of our job is to create social contact. and we are now being asked to create social distance which for a period of time will will have a tremendous impact on everyone. With schools in New Hampshire being closed until the end of the school year; we want to create a list of free resources that provide educational opportunities and other important information for parents who are home with their children during this time.
TOWN OF MERRIMACK/STATE/FEDERAL INFORMATION ON COVID-19
US TENNIS ASSOCIATION - Tennis at Home Program: There are fun tennis activities, videos, games, and projects updated weekly!
TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT Coronavirus (COVID-19): Article By Cookie Suarez, publisher of Macaroni Kid Buckhead-Midtown-Brookhaven, Ga.
30 FREE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES KIDS CAN USE AT HOME: Article By Jennifer Hill, publisher of Macaroni Kid Fremont, Calif. and Barbara Evangelista, publisher of By Barbara Evangelista, publisher of Macaroni Kid Lowell, Mass.
SCHOLASTIC LEARN AT HOME: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing sorted by grade.
LEARN IN COLOR: Includes activities to do when stuck indoors, kid friendly podcasts, online museum tours, math worksheets and more.
NON-SCREEN ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO AT HOME: Pobble.com
ART FOR KIDS: YouTube Channel specifically for kids art programs.
GO NOODLE: GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are!
COOL PROGENY: OPERATION STORY TIME: Your Favorite Authors Host Story Time Online!
LIST OF OUTDOOR RESOURCES PROVIDED BY: STOP NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER
How to Make Nature a Bigger Part of Your Family’s Lifestyle Are you concerned about the effects too little time outside could have on your family? Between screens and busy lifestyles, young and old alike are losing touch with nature. If you’re searching for ways to connect in the fresh air and sunshine, we have some great resources for you.
Area Fun and Activities
Visit Your Own Backyard
Seasonal Learning Opportunities
Kids and adults both need time in the great outdoors. When you and your kids aren’t getting enough connection with nature, remember these resources. There is something outside for kids of all ages in the Merrimack
Currently the Red Cross is offering the online class, Psychological First Aid: Supporting yourself and Others During COVID-19.
The course content is based on guidance from the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This online course is designed for anyone interested in learning techniques for supporting mental health during the COVID-19 crisis.
This course is FREE of charge during the COVID-19 outbreak
To sign up and take this 60 minute course please use the following link.