MATTHEWS – When planning children’s programming for COSKids, Donna Sand has a tendency to think big. And with the theme of this year’s summer camp being Animals of the Ark, who can blame her?
“You just let your imagination run wild of all the things you would want to have done at that age,” Sand said.
The thought crossed her mind of how fun it would be to take a road trip to a giant replica ark in another state, but she realized that idea was too grand. She credits her boss for bringing some of her ideas back inside the box.
This year’s camp will be fun, though. Activities will include field trips and presentations in which children will experience different animals, as well as crafts, games, swimming and Bible study.
“We are always looking for ways to connect with the kids today,” Sand said. “For us, because we are a Christian ministry, ways that we can connect Christ, the Bible and their daily lives.”
The nonprofit five-star childcare center offers dynamic experiences that grab children’s attention and help them learn. The idea over the summer is to prevent children from experiencing brain drain.
COSKids also offers an after-school program that pulls from six elementary schools: Bain, Elizabeth Lane, Indian Trail, Matthews, McKee Road and Providence Springs. Camps attract kids from farther out.
Last year, they welcomed a child from Virginia who was visiting her grandmother in Matthews. Sand said the camp is a good way of giving youth some extra places to experience other than grandma’s living room.
She said staff wants parents to have the confidence to go to work without worrying about the wellbeing of their children. Staff also wants children to go home feeling safe and loved.
“They know their kids have had enriched experiences that are educational yet fun,” Sand said. “They just feel that comfort in knowing my child is taken care of. It’s not just a babysitting thing. There’s so much more than happens here, yet it’s not in a school setting.”
Want to go?
COSKids, located at 226 W. John St., offers summer camp June 10 to Aug. 17 for children who have completed kindergarten to fifth grade. The camp costs $198 per week. COSKids has a ministry for single-parent families that allows for scholarships for services. Financial assistance may be available for camps, as well. Visit www.COSKidsMatthews.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.