By Amanda Rogers
After more than a year of pandemic and a tumultuous school year, most kids are ready to run free.
And a lot of them are running to Camp Anothen, Mansfield’s outdoor Christian day camp.
“The kids are pumped to be here, even in the thunderstorms,” said Camp Anothen’s administrative director Courtney Evans on a recent rainy day. “There is a lot of excitement. They get to be outside, be around their friends and make new friends.”
The parents are almost as excited as the kids, Evans said.
“Parents are eager to have their kids out and active and away from screens,” she said.
The 20-acre camp at 6350 Newt Patterson Road cut its capacity in half last year during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but still saw an increase in the number of kids signing up.
This year, the camp’s sixth, is almost full with 2,500-2,750 kids expected.
“All of June is completely full and most of July, and we have one week in August and it is almost full,” Evans said.
The camp, which recorded only one case of COVID last summer, is still doing temperature checks this year, she said.
Campers from age 3-12 spend the day swimming, fishing, kayaking, doing archery and arts & crafts, playing on low zip lines, and participating in team field games, skits, songs and Bible study. The camp day runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., but has early drop-off available starting at 8 a.m. Discovery Camp campers (ages 3-4) can choose 9 a.m.-2 p.m. or 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Ages 13-15 can sign up for Leaders in Training or Teen Camp, which is held in the evenings. Cost is $229 per week for camp.
“We have seen tremendous growth this past year,” Evans said. “We had a wait list by April on some weeks.”
Parents looking to get a head start on next year can start watching social media and get on the camp’s email list. Sign-ups for 2022 could open as early as November, Evans said.
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