The Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center and the Chandler-Newberger Center both went through difficult times last year. Now they are bouncing back and hoping to get back to normal.

Fleetwood-Jourdain had to close last year when the pandemic hit, meaning people couldn’t come and play basketball, football and karate. In Chandler-Newberger, summer camps have been delayed by one month from early June to July. Chandler had to drastically reduce their numbers, so that there could be social distancing. In a typical year, a camp session accommodated 60 children, but last year the camp could only accommodate 20 children. There were also camps that Chandler couldn’t offer, including the Water Camp and Field Trip Camp. The aquatic camp is not taking place this year as well.

There are many activities people can sign up for at Fleetwood, including basketball clinics, karate classes, and summer camps. Briana Jenkins, deputy program coordinator for Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, said: “Fleetwood gives these families, whether they are seniors or toddlers, the opportunity to kind of explore things. that they may not have had before.

Chandler-Newberger Sports Camp gives children the opportunity to play a variety of different sports and allows many high school students in the Evanston community to gain paid work experience. The camp is not so focused on the competitive aspect of the sport. Michelle Tompkins, program coordinator for the Chandler-Newberger Center, said, “I think one of the best ways [it helps the community] is that it offers parents a safe place to send their children… It is a safe space for campers. They exercise, they run, they play. We accept reunification requests, so they can spend time with their friends.

This year, Fleetwood is offering its Summer Discovery Camp. Children aged 4 to 12 can explore many activities and sign up for a two-week session or the full eight-week session. Fleetwood offers a football program for children ages 5-9 and also offers basketball clinics for elementary and middle school children. Fleetwood is sticking to CDC guidelines from last year. People must wear masks and practice social distancing inside and outside the building. Fleetwood disinfects equipment and surfaces.

Fleetwood’s 10-12 age group, the Trailblazers, enjoy a game of dodgeball at the Quad in Evanston. (Photo courtesy of Brianna Jenkins)

Chandler is offering his main sports camp this year. The camp is divided into age groups: 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12. There is also a group reserved for girls for 6-12 year olds. The camp is still not at its normal number but has a lot more campers than last year. Chandler runs his camp from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., which covers the parents’ working day. Chandler’s staff are taking similar precautions as they were last year. All people should wear a mask inside and out regardless of their immunization status. Guards are available throughout the day to wipe down heavily affected surfaces. Chandler is running three sections of three-week camps this year, as opposed to the two sections of four-week camps that the center ran in previous years. This gives more children the opportunity to go to camp because there is an extra week.

Campers at Chandler-Newberger Sports Camp changed the American pastime by playing tennis and baseball. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Tompkins)

Both centers have gone to great lengths to make their camps as good as possible, even in this difficult time. Fleetwood-Jourdain and Chandler-Newberger strive to help the community in a number of ways as Evanston continues to come to life as usual.


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