When the executive director of the Red Hook Area Chamber of Commerce decided to organize an event that would bring together regional summer camps and local residents, two key questions arose.
Would enough camps be interested? And would local residents be ready in March to consider where their kids might go to camp three months later?
“When we originally started planning the summer camp fair, we had absolutely no idea what the interest level was for this,” said Kim Gomez, executive director of the chamber.
They quickly got their answer.
Together with co-organizers Ben Senterfit and Mary Ward from Community Music Space, Gomez reached out to the camps and got the word out in the community. And in the week leading up to the March 27 fair at the Elmendorph Inn, all available camp slots were reserved and a number of other camps had to be waitlisted.
“It was clear that this was something that both the summer camps and local parents were hungry for,” Gomez said.
With more than 20 camps represented and dozens of residents attending, the fair was a resounding success.
“I felt that it was also a unique opportunity to connect and network with the other organizations, ” said Beth Anspach, who came to discuss her summer Kindermusik offerings. “We are all a part of creating variety for children in this community, but we’re often trying so hard to fill our own classes and programs that we’re often not considering we’re a part of something bigger.”
“The turnout was so great that we hope to expand to a larger venue next year,” Gomez said. The high school is among the venues being considered, she added.