The Porter County
Park Board heard a report at its meeting Thursday that Camp Funset and other
summer park programs were successful.
“The bulk of our
programs went really well,” Parks Superintendent Walter Lenckos said, “even
with the added protocols and restrictions and the reduced participation.”
“We were really
excited to provide a safe space for the kids,” Lenckos said. He added that
parks staff were surprised some kids were particularly upset to leave this
year because what comes next in school is uncertain. “Some of them were
crying the last day,” he said. “There are so many unknowns for them after
spending eight weeks with us, and for many of them it was their last year
Kids who have aged
out of Camp activities can now go through the Leader-In-Training program,
though, which was new this year, and successful in spite of COVID-19.
“We thought we
would only have a few kids,” Lenckos said, but there were three two-week
sessions of Leader-In-Training, each with five or six future leaders. “They
had fun and learned what it means to be a mentor to young kids.”
Lenckos thanked the
parents and others who volunteered in the track and field program and
thanked the Board for its diligence in reviewing and approving Park staff’s
plan to hold socially-distanced programs.
staff is now starting to work on fall programming, including improving
virtual offerings and making the field trip program more accessible to the
public in light of many schools going virtual or not holding field trips and
a possible uptick in homeschooling. There are also plans to ramp up park
stewardship/maintenance efforts and citizen science programs with the extra
time not spent on school programs.
Indiana Historical Power Association (NIHPA) reported it has canceled its
annual show due in part to finances and in part to COVID-19. This will be
the first time since 1977 that there is no NIHPA show.
The Illiana Garden
Railway Society is hosting a circus train day tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 8 at
its location at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. President David Ransem noted
IGRS is now able to run up to seven trains at once.
Ransem also asked
about water being provided to the IGRS site for topping off their pond,
watering their plants, and potentially for drinking. Park Board President
Craig Kenworthy said the Board will look into it.