Summer camps forced to adjust to smoke, unhealthy air

Summer camps forced to adjust to smoke, unhealthy air

Wildfire smoke is blanketing the region, creating unhealthy air for everyone, but especially children. Many kids across Spokane are spending their summers at camp and instead of running around outside, Mother Nature has other plans.

The Boys and Girls Club of Spokane County is playing host to dozens of kids this summer and when the air quality rises above 150 to unhealthy levels, camp heads indoors. Tuesday marked the third day of camp in a row the air in Spokane was unhealthy for everyone.

Campers spent the day inside Tuesday — playing in the game room, gaming in the tech lab, or taking an art class. Director Corey Crownhart told KXLY4 the unhealthy air presents some challenges, but nothing the club can’t overcome.

“It’s summer so kids want to be outside,” Crownhart said. “So when we come inside for programs and activities, the staff is extra vigilant to create more programs, more games and more fun experiences so that they’re not missing out on anything but instead getting an opportunity to do something unique.”

Camper Sierra Crabtree actually prefers staying indoors at summer camp.

“You can do more things inside, and outside all you do is like run around and play on the basketball court and play tag and stuff,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree told KXLY4 the club has had to cancel a few field trips and days at the pool this summer. He’s hoping for things to clear up for the last two weeks of camp.

“The biggest thing we always try and do is keep kids engaged, do something fun, play inside, provide positive alternatives as opposed to dwelling on the fact that we can’t be outside,” Crabtree said. “We’re hoping for that wind and rain just like everybody else.”