The Sylvester Broome Empower Village, YMCA of Greater Flint, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint are teaming up give kids in Flint a virtual summer camp opportunity.

The three organizations, along with other youth service organizations in Flint, have formed the Out of School Network. Together they are trying to make sure that kids will be able to get their creative juices flowing this summer. Normally each of these organizations would be working to send kids to camps all throughout Genesee County, but with the pandemic, it's just not possible.

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Instead of just hitting the cancel button, and hoping for the best next year, they decided to give kids a virtual option.

In a press release from SBEV, they said that the combined staff will facilitate camp activities through online platforms including social media, Google Suite, YouTube, and Zoom.

The SBEV YouTube page is already full of different musical tutorials put together by instructors.

You can register here.

The camps will offer a variety of camp courses, including the ones listed below.

  • Tapology
  • Music Explorers
  • Music Production with Bangtown
  • STEM with Sloan Museum
  • RMF Applewood Tours
  • Theatre
  • Gymnastics
  • Nutrition with MSU Extension
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Variety of sports programs including martial arts

There are more programs available when you register your child at the SBEV website.

In order to participate in virtual programming, your child must have access to a computer, tablet, smartphone, or a school district assigned Chromebook or iPad, including access to the internet. If you do not have internet, Comcast is currently offering free internet service to those who need it.

The amazing part about all of this is that it is free to Flint residents. This has been an extremely difficult time for most families. Even if parents are able to maintain their job by working from home, most kids have been thrown abruptly out of any normal routine. Schools have done a decent job of adjusting on the fly, but with most summer camps closed, parents face a new set of challenges.

It's hard to work a 40 hour work week from home and still find ways to keep your kids active in healthy engaging ways. Hopefully this will offer some relief, or at least a good option for families throughout our city.