Summer camps, conferences canceled in response to COVID-19
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Summer camps, conferences canceled in response to COVID-19

USD announced on Friday all summer camps are canceled— including American Legion Auxiliary South Dakota Girls State, originally scheduled for June 1 through 6,

Despite the cancellation, all participants will receive a certificate of achievement and according to the press release, will be invited to the banquet scheduled for the fall.

ALA South Dakota Girl State is for high school juniors to learn about civic engagement and had around 440 girls enrolled for this year’s camp, according to the press release. 

David Earnest, the chair of the USD Department of Political Science and W.O. Farber Center said as Girls State is founded in leadership and helping the community and the safety of all was their main reason for canceling. 

“While no one wanted this cancellation, the health and safety of everyone, from delegates to counselors and speakers, must be our top priority,” Earnest said in the press release. “This year, the best service we can provide our delegates and community is to avoid unnecessary risks.”

According to the press release, those students who were enrolled for Girls State now have the option to enroll in the State and Local Government course through remote learning.

All other in-person camps and conferences have been canceled through July due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. 

Despite the fluid situation, according to the press release, USD still anticipates a return to normal classes for the fall semester and is preparing for students’ return. 

“We are disappointed we won’t be able to gather together at a camp or conference this summer, however, our top concern is the well-being of our communities,” said USD President Sheila Gestring. “We are grateful to everyone who has put in several hours planning these events and look forward to next summer’s programming.”

Some of the canceled programs have been moved to an online format.