Marshall Recreation Center offers a camp for children during state-wide teacher strike

Marshall University’s Recreation Center offered a youth camp for children from the ages 4 to 12 during the state-wide teacher strike.

Chad Steen, the assistant director for the Adventure Recreation and Youth Programs, said the idea for the camp and the organization began late into the weekend when he had discovered the strike would be extended.

“It really makes sense to reach out and support our community,” Steen said. “Aside from how one feels about the strike personally, it still makes a lot of sense to provide these individuals a place for their kids.”

He said the camp was brought into consideration last Tuesday and Thursday, but wasn’t put into effect until this week.

The camp opens at 9 a.m. and pick up is at 4 p.m. until the end of the strike. There is before and after care which begins at 8 a.m. and extends to 5 p.m.

“We’re going to do our best to offer this service for the duration of the strike,” Steen said. “We are a student-employed program and our resources are limited.”

Steen said that the student employees stepped up and worked their schedules around the camp time to help offer the service.

“We usually have this camp in the summer when our students are out of school, so having it in the middle of the semester has been a challenge,” Steen said. “But some students have stepped up and managed their schedules appropriately to help make this possible.”

The cost of the camp for members is $25 and $40 for nonmembers. Steen said children should be sent with a lunch, a water bottle, swimming gear and dry clothes along with athletic shoes to ensure they can participate in all the planned activities.

“The weather right now isn’t ideal, so the kids are inside most of the day,” Steen said. “But the kids get to do crafts, they go to the pool and let the kids climb on the indoor rock wall.”

Steen said the camp wasn’t set up because of personal beliefs but just to have this sense of community and fill the need.

“This camp is disconnected from the politics; we just see there is a need for community members, especially those at Marshall who are affected,” Steen said. “We just want to do what we can to help and provide something for the kids to do.”

Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at [email protected].