BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Summer is just around the corner and unlike last year, parents will have some options when it comes to getting their kids out of the house. This summer, all of Bernalillo County’s community centers will not only have activities for kids but job opportunities for teenagers.
Before COVID-19, the county tells KRQE News 13 about 1,000 kids typically enrolled in their summer day camps, participating in activities like basketball, arts and crafts, and baseball. Since Bernalillo County is in the yellow phase right now, officials say they are only planning enough slots for about a third of the usual crowd. The county says they are excited to be able to offer something for the kids this summer and says if they make it to the green phase, they will make more slots available.
“It really pains us not to be able to open last year, it was very difficult. We love the kids, we want them to have a good time. We want county facilities to be a place for them to go and as you said, feel safe, have a good time, be with their friends. That’s what it’s all about, that’s the great part of being a kid,” says Communications Administrator Tom Thorpe.
As registration for these summer camps gets closer, the county says it’s an opportunity for teenagers to get out and get a summer job. “Along with these summer programs and swimming pools opening we have to hire people and a lot of kids, the teenage kids, this is their summer job last year they didn’t have that it was very difficult. So this year, not only is it an opportunity for a lot of the younger kids to have something to do, it’s the opportunity for some of the teenage kids to have their job back,” Thorpe says.
The county tells KRQE News 13 their pools will be open for recreational swim, and that will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. There aren’t plans for swimming lessons at this point. Sign-ups haven’t started just yet, but that information will be posted on the county’s parks and rec website in the next few weeks.
The City of Albuquerque tells KRQE News 13 they’re also offering summer programs. Sign-ups will open Wednesday and will continue through early May. They say right now, they are planning for registration for about 7,700 youth but expect that number to grow as restrictions lift.