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Virtual summer camp options available in the Poconos

For those who don't feel comfortable sending their children out this year, there are some free virtual camp options.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Some in-person summer camps are going on as planned with safety restrictions in place. But there are also some free virtual camp options.

Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) near Bushkill is one of many places offering in-person summer camps this year.

But for those who aren't sure if it's time to send their children to camp due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center is hosting an online scavenger hunt than can be done in your own backyard.

"We were trying to come up with a way to continue to engage people and encourage them to get outside, learn about the outdoors," said Derek Scott, director of operations at PEEC.

PEEC is partnering with the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River for the six-week scavenger hunt.

Every Monday, PEEC will post a themed list of different plants or animals on its social media pages online. Participants take a photo of each item on the list and submit the photos to PEEC for a chance to win some fun prizes.

"A lot of students and a lot young kids have been home with their parents for an extended period of time. We understand that a lot of families are trying to really scrape the bottom of the barrel with things to do to occupy their kids."

If your child is interested in performing arts, there's a virtual music camp happening this summer, too.

It's being put on by Pocono Mountains Music Festival.

"This year, of course, we can't meet in person, but we wanted the camp to continue, so we are having it virtually. We've never done this before in this particular construct, I guess. So we've shaken things up a little bit," said the festival's artistic director Scott Coulter.

On Monday and Thursday, for the next few weeks, virtual campers will have access to professionals for vocal coaching, acting, and virtual recordings.

"Anyone that wants to attend camp should have a song prepared that they have some sort of an accompaniment for, be it a track, piano track, or purchased track. Also a monologue just like a short 30-second to one-minute monologue from a film, TV, or play that they want to work on," said Coulter.

Both virtual camps are free and open to the public.