Several summer camps, recreational events cancelled

Vermilion County

VERMILION COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Vermilion County Conservation District (VCCD) announced Friday they have cancelled their summer camp programs for the year.

“After extensive thought, research, and careful deliberation, the VCCD has made the very difficult decision to cancel all summer camp programs for 2020,” VCCD Executive Director Jamie Pasquale said in an emailed statement Friday.

He added parents and grandparent who have already paid for the summer camp programs will be contacted by VCCD staff; they will be given the option to apply their camp registration fees toward purchasing their “Summer Camp in a Bag” packages. Any remaining fees will be reimbursed via check, Pasquale said, and full refunds will be issued by check for parents who do not want to purchase the “Summer Camp in a Bag” options.

“If we have any remaining “Camp in a Bag” inventory, or if more are created, we will offer them to the public,” he said. “There will be a limited quantity and fee for the bags”

Lara Danzl, VCCD Educational Supervisor said Friday the bagged summer camp packages are based off of a variety of themes, and they will first be offered to parents who already registered their kids for VCCD summer camp programs.

According to Danzl, the first bag will be “Grow Something Wild”, which will be about plants and seeds. They’ve also got “Splashing in the Summer,” which Danzl said will focus on all the different plants and animals that live in the water.

“The big bag,” she said, “is our ‘Backyard Adventure Camp.’ It’s five days worth of activities and crafts. We will fill the bag with all the materials needed to complete crafts and activities for kids to work on at home.”

Further updates from the VCCD will be posted to their Facebook page.

The VCCD’s latest announcement was followed by the cancellation of their annual ‘Cheeseburgers and Fun’ event on Thursday, which was scheduled for August 8. Event Co-chairman Michael Puhr said they look forward to seeing everyone in 2021.

As for other summer camps in Vermilion County, scouts will not be returning to Camp Drake this summer. Jared White, Scout Executive for the Prairielands BSA Council announced Monday evening they made the difficult decision to cancel their traditional summer camp programs.

He added their Cub Scouts Day Camps in June and July were cancelled as well. “We hope to be able to re-schedule them as a day events or Twilight Camps in August or this Fall,” White said.

Danville AMBUCS announced Thursday night they had cancelled their summer camp event. On Friday, they invited their kids to stay in touch via Zoom conference calls.

Danville Police Department’s “Friendly Town” program, which teaches traffic safety to children, was also cancelled this summer.

Cindy Parson, with the City of Danville, said Friday they planned to open Garfield Park Swimming Pool June 29 through Sept. 7. On April 22, their Facebook page posted they would open their facility “as soon as the coronavirus ban has been lifted.” At that time, they had planned to open May 23.


Officials with the Springfield Park District (SPD) said Friday they have not taken a “blanket approach” to full cancellations.

“Instead, we are simply postponing some of our traditional opening dates, such as our pools, and possibly summer camp,” Lynn Saputo, Director of Recreation & Marketing for SPD, said Friday. “We have had to cancel our May Movie in the Park and we pushed it to September at this time.”

She added they were taking it one week at a time to reevaluate what they can and cannot do with their parks and recreation areas.

“We follow CDC Guidelines, IL Department of Public Health and the entire District is currently on the Stay at Home Order from Governor Pritzker,” Saputo said.

“We are analyzing what type of operations we might have in Phase 3 if that is to begin on June 1st.  From there, we should know more about what types of programs and events and overall recreational opportunities we will be able to provide as each month and each phase of the Restore Illinois unfolds.”


In a Facebook post, the Paxton Park District announced they had decided to not open their pool this summer, and to cancel their baseball and softball seasons.

Anyone who registered for the Youth League will be sent a refund, the post added. As for their other summer programs, such as Sand Volleyball and Art Camp, the post stated they were in “wait and see” mode.


As for summer programming with the Arthur Park District, the Okaw League has canceled all recreational t-ball, pinto, baseball and softball for this summer. The opening of the Arthur Park Pool has been postponed until further notice.


On May 7, the Effingham Park District (EPD) announced several of their programs have been cancelled or postponed, because of guidelines set by the governor and circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

A press release from the EPD stated their baseball and softball leagues were postponed. “Under the guidelines laid out in the Governor’s “Restore Illinois” plan, youth sports leagues can go forward in Phase IV,” the release stated. “We are delaying a decision in hopes that our region will reach Phase IV sooner than expected. A decision will be announced by the end of the month.”

The EPD Adventure Camp will have a delayed start of June 1; it will move forward in Phase III with procedural modifications to meet new standards and restrictions.

The following EPD programs or facilities have been cancelled or closed for the summer:

  • Kluthe Memorial Pool
  • Ron Diehl Center
  • Itty Bitty Adventures
  • Special Recreational Baseball
  • Sports Clinic
  • Cardinals Kids Clinic & Challenges Soccer Camp

EPD playgrounds will remain closed in their region reaches Phase II, the release stated. Other outdoor facilities remain open for public use.

“It is encouraged to keep groups to 10 people or less and social distancing whenever possible in the parks.”

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