JAMUL, Calif (KGTV) — An East County camp is offering a new program to help families deal with the challenges of distance learning.
Indian Hills Camp has been in Jamul for 60 years. Its youth retreats, summer camps, and weekend adventures have been popular for decades, but the camp had to reinvent itself during the pandemic.
"COVID's definitely had a big impact on the camp and how we're able to operate, but we've been flexible and kind of adjusted and tried to move with the times," said camp director Aaron Nelson.
Danielle Harman grew up going to the camp as a child. She and her husband are now raising four kids. Life at home was hectic when schools closed.
"I love my kids and I love to be with them and stuff like that, but if I'm trying to get my work done so I can make money to pay my bills and then trying to educate them at the same time, I just get overwhelmed and very stressed out," said Harman.
She enrolled her two youngest children in a socially distanced day camp at Indian Hills.
"They're completing all their work, the counselors are staying on top of them making sure and that way I'm free to be able to go to work and get my stuff done during the day," said Harman.
Her children are also getting the social interaction they've missed during the shutdowns.
"They look forward to going every single day, they wake up excited still, it's not pulling teeth trying to get them out of bed and off. They come home and they're worn out because they've had socialization in their little small groups," said Harman.
The camp sits on 86 acres off Lyons Valley Road in Jamul. It's home to a giant playground, farm animals, zip line, covered wagons for camping, a BMX track, and more.
"Parents feel good about it, parents are able to drop their kids off and know that they're in a good environment, know that they're going to be taken care of, have homework help and they do get some social interaction and that's been very limited for the kids," said Nelson.
Nelson said all CDC guidelines for COVID-19 prevention are followed. The camp has not had a positive case since opening the day camp in August.
Prices are similar to daycare. Parents can choose from three or five days a week or if they just need an occasional break, their kids can go for one week a month.
"I don't think that I could have survived without it, I hope that more people can take the opportunity to get their kids out there in such a wonderful program," said Harman.
The program is offered to children in first through eighth grades.
More information is available on the camp's website at www.indianhillscamp.com.