Several towns and cities are going ahead with their summer camps and youth sports programs with strict CDC guidelines in place, but other parks and recreation departments have cancelled some or all their activities due to the COVID-10 outbreak.

Area Youth Sports president David Frey is grateful to the towns of Livermore and Jay for allowing the use of their athletic fields for AYS sports programs. At this point, Livermore Falls did not give AYS the OK to use its fields.

“Now we can get the kids out doing some stuff,” said Frey, who also coaches the Spruce Mountain football team. “These kids, like I said, have been bottled up inside or whatever and not being able to do something. Just getting them out doing some activities is a plus.”

The Paris Towns and Recreation Department decided to cancel its programs due to the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, we canceled all of our recreation programs this summer, including our summer concert series, Community Day and our house-sponsored ball,” Paris recreation director Abigail Earle said. “(The decision) was based on what we thought was best for our community at the time, where this (virus) is still spreading, and (following) recommendations from the CDC.

“Our community has relatively low (virus) numbers and we didn’t think it was worth the risk of re-introducing it here. We thought it was the best call. We are kind of looking into what we can do, like what opportunities we can provide to families for recreational opportunities for the summer. We have been looking at different options like scavenger hunts for families to do on their own just something fun for the kids.”

Gray Parks and Recreation programmer Sarah Rodriguez said the department is holding a reduced summer camp “to make sure we are meeting the the needs of the community to provide child care so parents can get back to work.”

Gray Recreation is focusing on the child care program first, which begins on June 22, before they consider starting other summer programs. Emily Bader / Lakes Region Weekly

She said the department is focusing on the child care program first, which begins on June 22, before they consider starting other programs.

“We have some tentative plans to do some sports programs a little bit later in the season,” she said. “Once we get camp rolling, we’ve got some tentative dates that we can say, ‘Yup, let’s go,’ but we need to make sure we manage the essential service first.”

Gary Dolloff, executive director of the Greater Rumford Community Center that runs youth sports programs, is about to get several activities up and running this summer.

“We had a meeting last night with the board of directors and we are going to run a baseball program and a softball program,” he said. “We have a fitness center and it is going to open up on (June 22).”

He is also working on getting a local track program off the ground beginning in July.

“One thing we are not going to do is our day camp. We just think logistically, and with all this stuff going on, it is more of a headache than we can handle this year,” he said. “We are just trying to get the kids out there to do a safe sport this summer and make sure they get a chance to have fun and safely enjoy some recreation.”

The Lisbon Parks and Recreation department is going full steam ahead with several youth sports programs.

“We are doing field hockey,” Lisbon Parks and Recreation director Mark Stevens said. “We are not sure about track yet. We are waiting for Maine Track and Field to come down with their decision.

“We are going to be doing football camp with obviously guidelines from the Maine CDC. Our summer day camps are starting June 22.”

All parks in Lisbon are open to visitors. Tennis courts and playgrounds will also be opening soon.

‘We have a responsibility to be there for our community, even though everyone that I work with, from Auburn and Lewiston and all the recreation directors that we work with, our No. 1 priority is safety,” Stevens said.” We work hard to make sure we are doing the right thing and doing it safe.”


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