Wicomico Modifies Summer Programs, Opens Facilities

SALISBURY – County officials are restructuring recreation programs and civic center operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning July 6, Pemberton Park Nature Camp will operate as a modified outdoor summer camp. While the park will continue to host hands-on lessons, hikes, games, fishing and other activities, registration this year will be limited to 27 campers per week and pricing has been adjusted to reflect the modified program structure.

In addition, guidelines will be in place based upon the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Wicomico County Health Department and the Department of Emergency Services.

Several sports programs will also be offered throughout the summer beginning next month.

The FUNdamental Tee Ball and FUNdamental Tennis summer programs will operate Saturday mornings from July 11 through Aug. 15 at Billy Gene Jackson Sr. Park., and WYBL Presents Andre Collins Skills Camp and the Eastern Shore Elite Volleyball Academy Summer Camp will run Aug. 3-7 at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

Kids Klub Summer Escape and Westside Community Center Summer Camp have been canceled.

Wicomico County also announced its plans for fall soccer programs this year.

Wicomico County Recreation & Parks will offer two fall youth soccer programs for boys and girls ages 3-12 beginning Sept. 5. Games are played primarily on Saturdays, although weekday games may be necessary.

FUNdamental Soccer, for children ages 3-8 years old, provides a nurturing, fun environment for players to learn soccer through specialized, age-appropriate drills and games. There are three divisions within this league; Lil Strikers (U4), Division I (U6) and Division II (U8).

Games are played at WinterPlace Park. Registration is open through July 31. Fees are $50 per player and includes a ball. A late fee of $5 per player is in effect for registrations received after July 31.

The Wicomico Youth Soccer League has two coed divisions; Division III (U10) and Divisions IV (U12). This league is volunteer coach-led and focuses on developing children’s soccer skills as they make new friends and have fun. Teams will have the opportunity to participate in an end of season tournament.

Games are played at WinterPlace Park and other County fields as needed. Registration is open until July 31. Individual registration fees are $50 per player with a $5 late fee for registrations after July 31. Team registration fees are $350 per team with a $25 late fee after July 31.

Registration is available in-person during modified hours at the Wicomico Civic Center box office and online at www.WicomicoRecandParks.org. Contact Derek Jarmon at 410-548-4900, ext. 113, or email djarmon@wicomicocounty.org.

The announcement on summer and fall programs follows the county’s announcement on reopening several recreation facilities. As of June 20, park restrooms, basketball courts, pavilion rentals and the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center are open to the public.

Just last week, for example, the Civic Center welcomed its first event since March. On Tuesday, Rotary members filed into the venue, completed entry screenings and took their seats in a well-spaced meeting room.

“It’s a different look and a new way of operating, but the same level of customer service our guests are accustomed to,” said Katie Rouse, manager of the Civic Center. “It feels good to be open for business.”

The Civic Center is now open for small meetings, gatherings and catered events. Per Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order, rooms will be capped at 50% capacity.

In addition to capacity restrictions, the Civic Center will implement new health and safety protocols for events, including additional pre- and post-event cleaning and disinfecting, entry screenings and temperature checks, properly distanced room layouts, and hand sanitizer stations, among other things.

“Preparing to reopen was an all-hands-on-deck task,” Rouse said. “I’m proud of our staff for working hard to make this happen.”

Except for scheduled events, the building’s temporary hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A single point of access is located at the box office entrance. Everyone entering the building is required to wear a mask and complete a screening questionnaire and temperature check.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.