Thomasville parents dealing with summer camp closure

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THOMASVILLE. N.C. — Concerns over coronavirus have caused a local summer camp to close down, leaving several families who rely on childcare during this pandemic in limbo. 

Fair Grove United Methodist Church in Thomasville told parents that July 17 would be their last day of Kingdom Kids summer camp. 

Parents told FOX8 they received this information on short notice. 

“I feel like they should be very ashamed of themselves for the way they handled this,” Samantha Nations said.    

Parents like Aleshia Branning rely on this childcare, especially since there’s four weeks left before the start of school. She and her husband both have essential jobs and have nowhere else to turn for childcare.

She says she wishes she would have known sooner to look for alternatives. 

“I received the letter this morning. Everybody I’ve called is already at max. They cannot take any more by the rules of Cooper of saying that we only have 50% capacity. We have no other options. I have nobody else both me and my husband and I are essential workers,” Branning said.       

Other parents were shocked by the late notice as well. 

“I found out yesterday at almost six o’clock when I came to pick her up, and it was like somebody almost pulled the rug from out under us,” Keating said. 

Branning showed FOX8 the letter that was sent out the day before the announced closure stating that it’s in the best interest of the kids and staff to close down over the concern of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state. 

“I don’t’ feel like there are any concerns. They’re doing everything that they can. They’re washing the walls. They’re mopping. They’re taking out the trash regularly. They’re disinfecting things. All of the adults are wearing masks,” said Samantha Nations, who is also an essential worker and relies on childcare. 

Many of the parents outside of the camp on Friday say this summer camp was the sense of normalcy their kids needed during this pandemic. 

“It gave them something positive to do instead of sitting at home, seeing the news bad, bad, bad,” said Tiffany Keating, another Kingdom Kids summer camp parent.

FOX8 did reach out to the pastor of the church for a comment but was referred to the Yadkinville United Methodist District.

FOX8 reached out to the district and are still waiting for a response. 

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