Sioux Falls, SD
Day camps are a big part of many kids' lives during the summer. But with the extreme heat, some of those groups have to make adjustments to keep kids safe.
With triple digit temperatures it may mean staying off the playground and away from the jungle gyms. But that doesn't mean kids won't still have a great time at their summer activities.
As an education major, Ashley Nelson has always been taught to roll with the punches. Now as a teacher with the Summer Youth Enrichment Program she's learning that first hand.
"We try to incorporate things we would do outside to inside. We have to make modifications with games and stuff like that. We try to do kickball in here and baseball. But, we kind of modify it so nobody gets hurt. But it's pretty much the same as it would be outside," Nelson said.
When temperatures do rise into the triple digits the outside time is limited and well monitored.
"If we see that they are getting really red and breathing a little heavy we know it's time to come in. Usually if it's above 100, we spend about 10 or 15 minutes top, but above, that we don't spend much time," Nelson said.
"Sometimes when it's been really warm we will just bring a large cooler of water outside. Then we figure we have ten, 15 minutes of play time and then everyone takes a water break and they sit down," Director of School Age Programs for Youth Enrichment Services Darci Hustrulid said.
These changes in plans are ones that come well in advance.
"We have a policy that states if it's 100 degrees heat index, then we will modify our scheduling. So typically what I do is at about 10:00 or 10:30 in the morning, I go and check what the forecast is for the day because if we are going to make changes to our schedule we have to do that early on," Hustrulid said.
Whether they're outside or in, Nelson says it's something the kids understand and are just happy to have fun.
"They know when it's hot out and they don't like to be in the heat very often. So, they will tell you when they are ready to go in. But we kind of monitor their actions and stuff too. And they are really good with playing inside rather than outside too," Nelson said.
Youth Enrichment Services takes its kids on many field trips and tries not to cancel them so the kids still get the full summer experience.