‘Camp Unite’ going virtual in 2020

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WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – The 14th annual Camp UNITE is not being canceled – it will be held as a virtual experience in 2020.

Instead of the typical in-person camp, Operation UNITE will feature three afternoons of on-line programming on Tuesday-Thursday, July 21-23. Sessions will include both live and pre-recorded content.

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Participation in the virtual Camp UNITE experience will be limited to youth who reside within UNITE’s 32-county service region and who were in grades 6, 7, or 8 on Jan. 1, 2020. Pre-registration using an application form available on the UNITE website is required by Friday, June 26.

Operation UNITE serves 32 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky, including all counties comprising the Fifth Congressional District: Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.

This year’s Camp UNITE still will be designed to develop leadership and communication skills, promote teamwork and problem solving, instill confidence and trust, and let youth know they do not have to face difficult situations alone.

The decision not to hold a traditional camp at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., is being made in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky health officials, said Nancy Hale, UNITE President & CEO.

“Unfortunately, many of the activities which campers have come to enjoy in the past – such as a trip to the waterpark – are simply not an option for us this year,” Hale said. “But, we are able to share information on how to have fun without drugs.”

“Youth in southern and eastern Kentucky have had to endure a very unusual spring as a result of COVID-19 restrictions,” Hale continued. “Throughout the hardships we have remained ‘UNITE Strong’ and adapted. Although presenting Camp UNITE virtually is not ideal, we want to provide our youth with as many positive experiences as possible.”

Those youth who have already submitted an application to attend Camp will be contacted by a UNITE staff member and given priority to register for the Virtual Camp UNITE.

Since its inception in 2007, Camp UNITE has hosted 2,579 youth from 33 counties.

For more information about Operation UNITE initiatives, please visit their website at OperationUNITE.org.