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Idea Fair

Congo Kids Playdates

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

One of the most exciting times of the year is the summer season at the club. Our summer camp program which typically lasts 8 weeks with over 50 campers per week enjoy everything from sports to art to science to music, with a different theme each week. When the pandemic put a halt to our traditional program, we wanted to come up with a safe way for our Congo Kids to be at the club, in person, together. We created the concept of a Congo Kids Playdate, where up to 4 kids could sign up for a 2 hour morning or afternoon Playdate, with a different theme each day. The program was the closest concept to camp but was executed with variety of new safety measures that made parents and kids feel comfortable and enjoy. We we sold out for the first 2 weeks of Playdates and continued to host over 55 Playdates before kids went back to school!

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

The idea took a substantial amount of planning to ensure all proper safety measures we executed due to the pandemic. To name a few examples; a health form was completed daily by parents, temperature screenings for each child were taken before the Playdate began, and parents had to authorize who their child could be in Playdates with during the same session. Most sessions were reserved by siblings and same household families. Themes for each day were created to mirror our camp program, and put fun, structured, and educational activities in place so no Playdate was ever the same. Each session had at least one take-home item the child could share with their parents at home. Themes included Nature & Exploration, Sports & Recreation, Mad Science, Arts & Crafts and Fun in the Sun, which allowed for kids to select the type of fun they wanted to participate in- and didn’t target an age group or male/female activites. The Playdates we a HUGE hit; kids could be with their friends in person, at the club, and safely, while parents had an opportunity to enjoy another area of the club and have some “adult” time. Parents provided overwhelming feedback and kids started creating a buzz about how they had the “best Playdates ever!” at the Club.

About the author

Alexandra Sarris

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