Summer camps, beloved by kids and parents alike, are one of the many question marks this year as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal patterns of behavior. Some are still able to operate with limits for health and safety, but their reach is drastically reduced.

Kids’ Carpentry Seattle, in the Columbia City neighborhood, normally serves about 1000 children each year, between camps, community centers and schools, according to Program Director Loren Kite. With the closure of the majority of those opportunities, he estimates they’ll be closer to serving 30-50 kids this year, depending on repeat appearances from some families.

“I think unless you can go outside you can’t do camps this year,” Kite said, standing in the parking lot of their location off Rainier Avenue South. White awnings cover stations with sawhorses and buckets of wood and tools for each student. “It’s made it really clear that we’re not going to be able to do anything like this in the fall.”

Still, they are in business and taking students for this summer. Keeping camps small, disinfecting any shared equipment and keeping as distanced as possible are the norm. 

They’re already workshopping cardboard crafts that can be constructed through online classes later this year — things like costumes, bookcases and lanterns. Kite said that cardboard has not been in short supply. “Everyone’s got Amazon boxes laying around right now.” 

To learn more and sign up for upcoming summer camps, visit