Donors supply free fall camps to Oklahoma children in need

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s no secret that 2020 has been a challenging year for a lot of families, but a local adventure camp is providing a fun escape from the new normal.

RIVERSPORT’s Outdoor Adventure Fall Camp and Study Hall offers supervised study hall, access to wifi, a meal option and outdoor camp activities.

“We launched the idea of these new camps in August as everyone was beginning to realize the full impact COVID would be having on the school year,” said Mike Knopp, executive director. “We saw the opportunity to help families and children manage online learning.”

Campers bring their school-supplied laptops and smart devices to complete assignments or attend online classes.  Campers connect to the RIVERSPORT wifi during study hall.

Campers also participate in outdoor recreation.  Outdoor activities include kayaking, stand-up-paddle boarding, fishing, surfing, and exploring the river trails on scooters.  RIVERSPORT is the backbone organization for OKC Thrive Outside, which aims to engage youth from underserved neighborhoods in repeatable experiences in nature.

Organizers say Sonic, American Fidelity, Prosperity Bank, Oklahoma City University President Martha Burger, and Crow and Dunlevy have provided over 150 scholarships for youth to participate in RIVERSPORT fall camps.

Current scholarship recipients include Oklahoma City Public School students and children of parents in justice diversion programs.

“I never thought we would have elementary school children attending online school in the Boathouse District.  But these unusual times call for unusual solutions.  Parents should not have to choose between going to work to provide for their families or being at home to help their kids with online learning.  RIVERSPORT is grateful that so many donors stepped forward to help with this urgent need,” explained Knopp.

OKCPS is teaching virtually until October 30 due to the risk of infection from COVID-19.  Other area school districts have adopted a hybrid schedule where students are on campus just two days per week.  Online learning has caused a hardship for families who depend on schools for education, childcare, meals, and recreation. 

Eligibility for scholarships is based on household income.

Parents can register their children in the one-week camps for either five-day (M-F) or two-day options (M-W or W-F).  Meal plans can be included at registration.

The Outdoor Adventure Fall Camp and Study Hall will run from August 17, 2020 until October 30, 2020. 

For more information email info@riversportokc.org or visit RIVERSPORT’s website.

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