Camp Kanata working to keep campers cool in heat wave

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The camp has been making good use of its 9-acre lake during the heat wave (WTVD)

Hundreds of campers are enjoying a week at Camp Kanata in Wake Forest on one of the hottest weeks of the year.

This week, kids are swinging, jumping, and flying into the camp's crowned jewel, a nine-acre lake.

"Every day, every camper has the opportunity to be in the lake and on these hot days, we'll be in the lake more," said Executive Director Shane Brown.

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When the National Weather Service issues a heat advisory, he and his team make modifications to camp schedules to keep kids safe.

"We keep our busiest activities in the morning when it's coolest," he said. "In the afternoon we might extend our rest period, we will extend our time in the water."

The YMCA camp prides itself in being a rustic camp. Most of the buildings, and cabins do not have air conditioning, and campers are encouraged to cool off in the shade.

"We have a lot of trees and it's very purposeful," Brown said. "It is hard to grow grass at Camp Kanata because of all of the shade and the trees, but that shade makes all the difference. It can be 10 or 15 degrees cooler under the trees."

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Staff also encourages each camper to bring a water bottle to camp daily. Browns says water isn't enough. "At lunch and breakfast we are serving Gatorade this week so that campers have a chance to hydrate and stay extra cool during the day."
The Gatorade helps replenish electrolytes lost in the sun.

"The children almost deal with it better than the adults do I think that when you are younger you don't feel the heat in the same way, and they tend to go, go, go," Brown explained. "And we are the ones that have to slow them down to make sure they are staying cool."

This week, the Stony Hill Fire Department also played a special role in keeping the kids cool. Firefighters drove a big red firetruck to Camp Kanata and sprayed the kids with cool water.

"It was amazing," Brown said. "They used 2800 gallons of water and that water was iced cold. I don't know where they get it from but it was so cold and the campers went crazy. It was awesome."

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