By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
A local education company is planning to fill the gap in camps this summer.
ResourceME, an Otsego County company started by Cooperstown Central School special education teacher Stephanie Nelen, will offer summer camps this year.
“The thing about this company is we want to be a source to fill a need in Cooperstown for educational enrichment, not to compete with anything we already had,” Nelen said.
Nelen’s company had been working with Cooperstown Baptist Church during the height of the coronavirus pandemic to host learning pods and tutoring sessions.
The church had applied for COVID money to help with educations needs during the pandemic. However, when Pastor Joseph Purdue left for a church in Connecticut, Cooperstown Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk — who is a member of the church and had helped Purdue apply for the grant — reached out to Nelen for help.
They designed a survey to assess community needs and were shocked by the results, Falk said.
“It wasn’t a need for either equipment or for broadband, although I am sure some of these folks do have slow internet,” Falk said, “but what that survey said … what people needed was human resources, rather than technology.”
As the school year wound down, Nelen said she realized there would not be any summer camps for her three children, or anyone else’s kids. She has worked for the school’s Red Bursey Playground Camp in previous summers, but that camp is not happening this summer. The Clark Sports Center, which has not yet allowed kids or teenagers to resume activities, is also not holding its
summer camps this year.
Nelen has set up camps for robotics, Mandarin, reading, coding, American Sign Language and film, among other camps. There is a charge for camps, but scholarships are available.
Nelen, who is a co-founder of The Angel Network, said she has had help from the nonprofit, as well as the church and The Community Foundation for Otsego County. The group is still looking for donations for camp supplies and locations for classes.
“What we hope people will see is that our community is coming together,” Nelen said, “and this will continue into the fall.”
Spots are limited and early registration is encouraged. Go to www.resourcemeny.org or email resourceME@outlook.com for more information.