During the time period that City Hall was working remotely, the Parks and Recreation Dept. was coming up with ideas that could potentially work with COVID-19 Guidelines. When Governor Cuomo introduced the four phases for re-opening, they were able to plan more specifically. Initially, plans were being made for Glen Cove Summer Day Camp, but the summer camp guidelines only came out a week and half before it was supposed to begin, and camp enrollment was very low. The Glen Cove Summer Day Camp program was scrapped for this year, in the hope it would go back to normalcy in the Summer of 2021. The decision was then made to use those same summer camp guidelines for an “Evening Camp” where parents can drop off their children, 2ndgrade through 8th grade, for low impact sports and activities at City Stadium. The program is called “Open Play Night”, which includes activities such as, wiffle ball, yard games, team handball, soccer, scavenger hunts and arts & crafts. 12 sessions, three nights a week. All camp safety protocols are being adhered to, and masks are worn when social distancing cannot be achieved. Mayor Tenke said, “Based on the fact that we did not have our regular camp this summer, we are happy that our residents have been able to utilize some of the new programs initiated throughout our City.”
Darcy Belyea mentioned that with the programs this summer, “We just want residents to feel comfortable being out and socializing. Even our staff is enjoying being together again. It is really great to see kids being kids again.”
Swimming lessons at Pryibil Beach, led by Kristen Foster, filled up within a couple of days. The kids receive instruction depending on their age/level. “Tiny Tots” helps students aged 4 through 5 feel comfortable in the water and learn to enjoy the water safely. “Beginners”, for non-swimmers age 5 and over, teaches primary skills of floating without support and developing basic locomotion skills. “Advanced Beginner” students, ages 6 and over, are taught to coordinate the front and backcrawl. Students aged 8 and over, “Intermediate”, are taught to develop confidence in the strokes from previous levels, as well as, the breaststroke and sidestroke.
Tennis lessons at Stanco Park are also very popular. Glen Cove School District Teacher and Tennis Coach, Chris MacDonald, is the instructor and the kids love him and his teaching style. Corrie Decker, mother of 3, two of whom are playing tennis: Amelia Decker, age 12 and Charlotte Decker, age 10, said “We’ve been playing it really safe during the pandemic, so the idea of small-group tennis instruction really appealed to us as a way for the kids to socialize and exercise after being cooped up for so many months. The program has exceeded our expectations. Coach Mac is a true Glen Cove gem. I am astounded at his ability to effortlessly make each and every child feel special.”
Seda Steck, “As a parent of two busy, athletic and energetic football and lacrosse players … I am grateful to be living in Glen Cove during this Pandemic! The sports that are integrated into the playtime are all activities that can be played while maintaining distance. It is evident that this program has been meticulously thought out. Every aspect of the program is carefully managed to ensure social distancing is maintained and when it can’t be, like during drop-off and pick-up; the children wear masks. My children and many of their friends truly look forward to the 3 evenings per week that the camp offers. As a cautious parent, I feel safe to bring them there for fun activity!”
Additional goings-on in Parks & Rec. include:
One Little League girls team (Intermediates – 5th/6th/7th) is playing a 10 game season vs. teams from SC and LV/BV.
We ran two successful free baseball clinics the past two Saturdays at the stadium. About 40 girls and boys attended each session.
We have Gold Coast Little League boys travel teams at 9U, 10U, 11U (2 teams), 14U and 18U, as well as girls travel teams at 12U and 14U. All began playing shortened seasons as of July/Phase 4.
Also happening at the stadium is LI-Kick kickball on Monday nights, Men’s Weeknight Softball League (9 teams that will play into early Sept), the 5th Battalion (Fire Dept) Softball League and 2 Men’s Hardball teams.
For the third summer we are hosting a Scout Baseball League, run by Tom Hopke. College recruiting is currently not permitted, so the league is run as a camp this year.
Families are out and about and more active than ever this year. Despite the circumstances, it is nice to see and the majority are cooperative in maintaining distance and following our modified rules. The PD And Auxiliary have been a great support to Parks & Rec. during these difficult times.