Summer recreation programs canceled due to COVID-19


By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

The Town of Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department announced on May 7 that its summer recreation programs, including youth baseball for kids ages 7 to 12, adult softball and the Kickin’ It During Summer (K.I.D.S.) Camp, have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory,” Parks and Recreation Director Darren Lewis said during a Combined Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting on May 7. “Limited group activities to 10 people or fewer, it’s pretty hard to put on youth baseball, adult softball, even our K.I.D.S. camp.”

Usually the K.I.D.S. camp, adult softball and youth baseball run from June 1 through July 31, Lewis explained.

According to Lewis, the K.I.D.S. Camp could have 10 kids, but all kids would have to wear masks for the entire time, as well as the camp counselors.

“With our playgrounds shut down, it’s just not worth doing. It doesn’t make any sense to force kids to wear masks all day,” he said. “To put that kind of stress on counselors to ensure that masks are staying on these children, it’s too much. It would be too chaotic.”

However, the Parks and Recreation Department is hoping to do some “mini camps” as soon as some of the public health order restrictions are lifted, Lewis explained.

“They will be more like rec programs as opposed to a K.I.D.S. Camp,” he said. “We’re going to spend the next month kind of coming up with some things, so when things open up, we are prepared to implement some of that stuff.”

In place of youth baseball, Lewis suggested baseball camps for when restrictions are lifted. An adult softball tournament could be added instead of a season, he added later.

“We just have to wait until people can gather a little more,” he said. “We’ll try and do something because I know it’s tough on families and the entire community when rec things get canceled and K.I.D.S. Camp gets canceled.”

The town did not receive any applications for the K.I.D.S. Camp, Town Manager Andrea Phillips explained in an email to The SUN on May 11.

“Staff originally opened up registration for KIDS Camp on April 1st. COVID-19 restrictions started in mid/late March. We moved the start of the registration back to April 15th. Restrictions continued, so we moved the date back to May 4th,” Phillips explained, adding that this is when it was determined to cancel the camp.