LUTZ, Fla. - Many working parents woke up to another challenge Monday: What to do with their children today while they worked. A number of summer camps closed for the day due to weather.
I was one of those moms worried about tornado warnings and the safety of my kids and with Tropical Storm Debby slowly churning away in the Gulf, it's a drill we may have to repeat tomorrow morning.
Melanie Stairs spent much of the day checking her phone for weather alerts. She runs Seal Swim School's summer camp program in Lutz.
While the City of Tampa closed their day camps Monday, she made the call to stay open. "We know our parents rely on us and we have a lot of parents that are single moms and dads. During these economic times, people have to get to work and they have to have a place to put their children where they know they will be safe. So it was really important for us to try and open if we could."
My children are signed up to attend camp there this week, but to be honest, the fact they would spend part of the day in a trailer worried me. A tornado watch had been issued for Hillsborough County again and I wasn't the only parent to voice concern.
Stairs said, "I explained them to them our emergency action plan and that we do have a key to the church facility. Both the assistant director and I have the weather alerts on our cell phone. If we get an alert or a warning there is a tornado in the area, we move all of our children into the church. It can hold up to 200 people and it’s a very sound structure."
I had a Plan B: My daughter is home from college and could babysit. But others' parents had to scramble this morning. Stairs says, "We got a lot of phone calls asking if we were going to be open today. When we did, I felt the support from the parents."
Melanie will continue to monitor weather alerts, but their goal is to be back open Tuesday and the rest of the week.
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