See Snow Photos from Around Reston — “That’s the other thing about winter storms. They make everything look so beautiful. Here are some of the photos readers from the Reston area submitted to Patch.” [Patch]
Metro Announces Changes in Response to Omicron — Rising COVID-19 infections among Metro employees have fueled a staffing shortage, prompting the transit system to reduce weekday bus service to its typical Saturday schedule starting on Jan. 10. WMATA will also let bus drivers bypass potential riders who aren’t wearing a mask. [DCist]
Break-in Reported in Herndon — Sometime overnight from Dec. 30-31, an “unknown number of subjects” broke glass doors and windows of a building in the 800 block of Ferndale Avenue, which could be either the Herndon Community Center or St. Joseph Catholic Church and School. Nothing appears to have been taken, but the case remains under police investigation. [Herndon Police]
Summer Camp Registration Begins Next Week — “Registration for summer camps begins Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. The Fairfax County Park Authority offers more than 1,000 summer day camp options for kids ages 3 to 17 at dozens of locations at Rec Centers, nature centers, historic sites, lakefront parks, golf courses and schools.” [FCPA]
Water Mine Hiring Season on the Way — “Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole has a splashtastic summer job opportunity! From lifeguards and park attendants, more than 200 positions need to be filled. Virtual interviews start Jan. 15; open hires start in March.” [FCPA/Twitter]
More children are participating in Reston Association’s summer camps this year than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
After canceling the program last year for the first time in its more than 40-year history, Reston Camps has seen enrollment for 2021 exceed where it was at the end of summer 2019, RA Director of Recreation and Environmental Education Laura Kowalski told Reston Now.
RA declined to share exact attendance numbers, citing “competitive business reasons,” but Kowalski says it has been “a very good camp year” even with some COVID-19 protocols still in place.
“It has been wonderful to have the program run this summer, to see the smiles from both campers and staff after a tough year,” Kowalski said.
In fact, enrollment has been so strong that, in some cases, RA has added additional sessions and staff to handle the demand.
The aquatics camp and watercraft camp — one of several new offerings that were originally planned for the 2020 season — have been especially popular, as have the tennis camps, which added more coaches and camp counselors.
“It’s sort of across the board that we’ve had good involvement,” Kowalski said.
With the camp registration period opening on June 1, the enrollment increase came as declining COVID-19 case levels and rising vaccination numbers suggested this summer would represent an emergence from the pandemic’s shadows, though the delta variant’s spread has recently started to temper that optimism.
The end of Virginia’s capacity and social distancing requirements on May 28 ahead of Memorial Day weekend meant that Reston Camps didn’t have to impose restrictions on attendance as initially anticipated, according to Kowalski.
However, RA is still following health recommendations from the Virginia Department of Social Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for camps, which need different rules given the number of children involved, many of them too young to be eligible for the authorized vaccines.
As part of its COVID-19 procedures, Reston Camps requires participants and staff to wear face masks at all times except when outdoors and maintaining six feet of distance. Staffers have some discretion for when campers can remove their masks, such as when they’re around or in water.
Staff members are also frequently cleaning and sanitizing high-touch surfaces, and children are allowed to carry a small container of hand sanitizer.
According to Kowalski, there have been no reported instances of campers or staff contracting COVID-19 since the camping season began in mid-June, though if there were, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) would prevent RA from disclosing that information.
“We have not had to close any camps,” she said.
The RA website says all camps are eligible for a full refund, including deposits, due to COVID-19.
While the camps are largely unchanged from past years, aside from the presence of masks, one alteration that Kowalski says will become permanent is the use of virtual orientations.
RA onboarded 406 seasonal staff who work anywhere from 10 to 40 hours a week in its aquatics, camp, and tennis departments this year. Having part of their orientations online instead of in-person resulted in a quicker, more efficient, and more flexible process that could accommodate their varying schedules.
“It was well received by our onboarding staff as well as the supervisors administering the orientation,” Kowalski said. “…It is something that we will continue in future years.”
Reston Association has canceled its winter break camp program for 2020, according to a statement posted on social media on Monday.
Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications, marketing, and member services, said the decision was motivated primarily due to low enrollment.
“Before canceling, RA’s camp staff did. Reach out to parents of past winter break. Camp participants to determine their enrollment interest in the winter break camp,” Leone said.
Some parents were concerned about the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Other parents indicated that they did not enroll in the winter camp because of their current ability to take care of children at home or that they planned to continue with current engagements from this fall.
“For parents looking for activities to keep their children busy during the holiday break, RA is still selling its popular Holiday Camp in a Box full of fun activities to keep children active and busy,” he said.
Reston Association has decided to cancel its Winter Break Camp program for this year. Refunds will be provided to anyone who has already paid for camp registration.#Reston #RestonCamps pic.twitter.com/JzYC3fOaf2
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) December 7, 2020
Reston Association’s ‘Camps in a Box’ Ready for Purchase — RA’s camp activity box– which includes different activities and a link to connect with camp staff during weekly Zoom’s calls — is now available for purchase online. [Reston Association]
Around Town: Vacancy Spike Expected in County— “Fairfax County’s office vacancy rate is likely to suffer as remote meetings continue to be the norm, the county’s economic development chief warned in early June. Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, delivered that warning to the county board of supervisors during a June 2 meeting.” [Washington Business Journal]
Next Comprehensive Plan Meeting Set for June 22 — The third meeting fo the Reston Comprehensive Plan Study Task Force takes place virtually on Monday, June 22 from 7-9 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Reston Association canceled its camp program for the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now residents can bring a piece of the camp experience into their homes with RA’s “Reston Camps in a Box” program.
Residents within RA boundaries can request that a box be delivered to their residence at no charge. Residents outside RA’s boundaries must pay the cost of shipping.
Boxes have different themes and include a nature activity, arts and crafts, a science experiment, a rainy day project, fitness ideas, and more. The kit also includes a link to connect with a camp staff member virtually.
The kits will be available on a staggered basis based on the following schedule.
- Aloha to Summer (June 15)
- Party in the USA (June 29)
- Anything Goes (July 13)
- Exploration (July 27)
- Camp Finale (August 10)
Local organizations are finding new ways to transform the summer camp experience. Earlier this month, the Greater Reston Arts Center announced its first digital summer art camp.
Photo via Mariah Hewines/Unsplash
The program, which is geared toward children between the ages of 5 and 10, includes guidance on how to make art through pre-recorded, instructional videos The digital program replaces in-person camps, which were previously organized with Reston Association.
The online program mirrors what is offered at the in-person program and will run for six weeks between June 29 and August 7.
The art camp includes a weekly collection of pre-recorded video lessons with a professional arts educator. Each activity, which will be 15 minutes or less in order to limit screen time, will also include written instructions.
The camp also includes a camp-in-a-box kit with materials required for activities. A list of materials not included in the kit like scissors or makers will be available on GRACE’s website before the camp begins.
Each kit was prepared by PPE-wearing staff members using items ordered online. Kits can be picked up every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at GRACE by appointment only.
Here’s more from GRACE on the different sessions offered:
My Mom Would Never Let Me Do That!
June 29-July 3 (Ages 5-7)
July 6-July 10 (Ages 8-10)
Explore the possibilities of art with our most popular camp, adapted for our new digital camp model. Using a variety of materials, this session combines scientific exploration and the creative process to create the messiest and silliest of art projects.
July 13-17 (Ages 6-10)
In this camp, kids investigate all things 3-D! From blankets to boxes, we cover the basics of building the best forts ever! Campers will spend their days creating new spaces to explore and will walk away with a basic understanding of engineering, and a personalized fort of their own!
Fibers & Friends!
July 20-July 24 (Ages 5-7)
July 27-July 31 (Ages 8-10)
Have you ever wondered how a spider builds its web, how a bird weaves a nest, how your friend made such an AWESOME key chain? Become a wonder-weaver as we explore all things fiber!
Art & Movement
August 3-August 7 (Ages 6-10)
Who says art-making has to be stationary? This camp session focuses on all the ways art can get you moving and features 2-D and 3-D projects, which will utilize movement and art-making in innovative ways.
Registration, which is $220, opened today (Monday). It will close one week before the start of each camp.
Photo via Mariah Hewines/Unsplash
Although Reston Community Center has canceled its summer camps and outdoor concerts and events in June and July, the center is turning to online options to serve the community.
Here’s more from RCC on the changes:
“This unprecedented public health crisis has upended everyone’s lives,” said RCC Board Chair Bev Cosham. “While we are disappointed not to have camps and the usual summer programming in 2020, we know it is in the best interest of our great community.”
According to RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon, the agency will be using resources to come up with online options that will showcase popular instructors and counselors. “RCC’s staff is eager to see everyone in person when it is safe to do so,” Gordon notes. “We will be following public health guidance and figuring out how to offer programs with social distancing so we can open our doors to the public again as soon as officials allow it. In the meantime, we will see our community online.”
RCC will offer virtual options to keep children engaged with creative programming. More details on those plans are expected soon.
If publish health regulations allow, some registration-only fitness and aquatics programs may be offered in July and August. So far, the center’s summer events and concerts at Reston Town Center have been indefinitely postponed.
CenterStage’s performance will also film special performances on RCC’s YouTube channel. Some popular performers will also upload performances in June and July.
Photo via Reston Community Center
Reston Association has opted to cancel its traditional summer camps program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Refunds will be offered to those who have already paid for summer camp registration, the association announced in a release on Monday.
Reston Camps administrators and RA management made the call as other agencies in Northern Virginia also cancel summer youth programs. Camps would have begun on June 15. Here’s more from RA:
Based on information and guidance from Gov. Ralph Northam, the Centers for Disease Control, recreation experts and local agencies, RA concluded that Reston Camps could not operate in a safe and fun manner this summer. Issues involving the potential for community spread of the virus, along with various state and local restrictions and safety guidelines, were taken into consideration by RA staff, as were opinions expressed in a survey of area parents.
RA is exploring the possibility of youth environment programs in the summer or early fall. The Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, May 21, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on other services and programs.
Photo via Reston Association
The Reston Community Center officially canceled its traditional summer programming this year, but there might still be hope for kids looking forward to the yearly activities.
Instead of the originally scheduled summer camps, the center might offer amended programs that take into consideration community health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a press release said.
The camps will potentially take place in July if the Reston Community Center is given clearance.
“The new camp schedule will operate under the enhanced social distancing and public health guidelines issued by Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia for these kinds of experiences,” the press release said. “Because of social distancing guidelines, there will be a maximum of nine campers in each camp.”
The potential schedule will be released sometime in June, and registration will be available online.
All of the new camps will take place at the RCC Hunters Woods and RCC Lake Anne, since other facilities will be closed, the release said.
Families who registered their kids for the original set of summer camps will be given a full refund, according to the release.
Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook
Registration Now Open for Presentation by Master Flutist — experience the history of women in jazz during a lecture and live performance by master flutist Galen Abdur-Razzaq at Reston Regional Library. The events takes place on March 3 from 7-8:30 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]
Leading the World in Data Centers — “Northern Virginia is by far the largest data center market in the world… data centers are centralized locations where computing and networking equipment is concentrated for the purpose of collecting, storing, processing, distributing or allowing access to large amounts of data. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Registration Now Open for Reston Camps — Registration for Camps Reston is now open for all. More information about this year’s offerings is available online. [Reston Association]
Photo by Jay Westcott
The 7th Annual Camp Expo in Reston will allow families from around the community to preview options for upcoming summer camps and youth sports leagues.
On Saturday (Jan. 25) people are invited to stop by the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 9 a.m. until noon to check out programming from more than a dozen featured organizations, according to the event’s Facebook page.
During the event, there will also be prizes, snacks, music and games for attendees to enjoy, the Facebook page said.
Featured event exhibitors listed on the Facebook event page include:
- Reston Community Center
- Great Falls Reston Soccer Club
- Herndon Youth Soccer
- Fairfax County School Age Child Care Program (SACC)
- Nova Labs Robotics
- Reston Regional Library
- Great Falls Youth Rugby
- Traveling Players Ensemble
- Neighborhood and Community Services: RECQuest/Reston Teen Center
- Common Ground Child Care Center
- Reston Youth Club
- YMCA Fairfax County Reston
- Nextstop Theatre Company
- Fairfax County Park Authority
- Reston Association
Image via Reston Community Center/Facebook
The Reston Association has decided to rename its camp program and add more options for people hoping to get involved next summer.
Now called Reston Camps, after rebranding from RA Camps, the program decided to institute several new camp opportunities after receiving feedback from kids and parents.
In 2020, the camp will offer new programming including a boating camp, aquatics camp, a young naturalist program and several others along with their traditional programs, according to Laura Kowalski, the director of recreation and environmental education for Reston Camps.
The organization also plans on revamping its lifeguard program.
Kowalski said that camp organizers will look at camp offerings and make changes to programming based on parent feedback, national trends and registration statistics from past years.
Regarding the name change, Kowalski said the organization decided it better suited their mission. “With any company, sometimes you just need to refresh.”
Reston Camps was originally founded in 1974, according to Kowalski and is the oldest camp in the area.
Katherine Caffrey, the camp director, said the program is constantly trying to evolve and suit the wishes and needs of campers.
A while back, Reston Camps instituted a ride service that picks kids up and drops them off at their home or parents’ work. Caffrey said that many parents aren’t aware of the program and encourages people to use it.
One thing that makes Reston Camps unique is its partnership with local scientific organizations, according to the organization’s staff.
“We have a pretty unique relationship with the United States Geological Survey,” Caffrey said.
Reston Camps works with USGS to schedule tours for kids and encourage an appreciation for science.
The new program announcements and registration can be found online. A lot of parents sign up their kids early, around January or February in anticipation for summer programs, Kowalski said.
Reston Association's camp program name has changed from RA Camps to Reston Camps. Along with the name change, there will be additional camp offerings in 2020. You can read about the new camps in the inaugural edition of the RA Activities Guide.#Reston #EnjoyReston #RestonCamps pic.twitter.com/gVcLbyODMX
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) December 13, 2019
Photo via Reston Association
On Wednesday, June 26, 10 percent of all food and drink purchases made between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Glory Days Grill will go toward scholarships.
The nonprofit organization, which supports Reston Association, raises funds to send students with demonstrated financial need to RA camps this summer.
Glory Days Grill is located at 1400 North Point Village Center.
Over the past 18 years, the organization has launched similar campaigns to raise funds for children seeking to attend summer camps.
Photo via North Point Village Center
Furloughed federal employees affected by the government shutdown now can pay a reduced cost for summer camp.
The Reston Community Center announced today (Jan. 15) that it will offer special summer camp fee waivers for affected families, allowing them to pay $10-$20 per child per week this summer.
Families can pay $10 per child per week of camp, with some camps planned with half-days. They can also pay an extra $10 for “Zen Zone,” an after-care option for those in less than a full day of camp.
“Reston is home to many people who have been affected by this event,” RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon said in a press release. “We know that discretionary spending for summer activities would be among the first things families would likely cut back on or eliminate in trying economic circumstances.”
Gorden said that she doesn’t want the shutdown — now the longest one in U.S. history — to deprive kids of their summer fun. She added that RCC will offer the fee waivers even if the government employees are called back to work soon.
“The economic impact has already been profound for federal employees,” she said.
Reston Community Center’s summer camps include a variety of half-day and full-day options.
Full-day camps let campers go on daily adventures to museums, water parks and more; create art; or practice theatre for a performance at RCC’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Options for half-day camps include cooking, woodworking, magic, community service, photography, STEM and more.
RCC plans to host the Reston Camp Expo, which will have exhibitors from area nonprofits and Fairfax County government agencies, at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Registration for summer camp begins on Feb. 1 for Restonians and on Feb. 8 for everyone else. Families who live or work in Reston must present their federal government employee identification when registering for 2019 camp sessions.
Photo via the Reston Community Center
Friends of Reston has launched an annual fundraising campaign for camp scholarships. The nonprofit organization that supports Reston Association is seeking to raise $12,000 to send at least 22 students with a demonstrated financial need to RA camps this summer.
On July 18 (Wednesday), 20 percent of all frozen yogurt purchases at SweetFrog in North Point Village Center will go toward the camp scholarship fund.
Over the past 17 years, the organization has launched similar campaigns to raise funds for children seeking to attend summer camps.
“Summer is such an important time for children to stay engaged, make new friends, explore their community, learn new skills – camp is the perfect place to do all of that,” said FOR Executive Director, Katie Shaw. “We are thankful for all of the donors who make this possible for children whose families could not afford this experience.”
Thus far, the scholarship fund has received $5,731 from the Realtors of Long and Foster, $750 from Reston Historic Trust’s board of directors and $2,270 from residents of the Paramount Condominiums.
Photo via RA