Onset Bay Center plans safe summer programs

Jun 17, 2020

While the specifics are different than originally planned, the Onset Bay Center will be launching a full summer of programs for kids, families, and adults.

In lieu of the extensive programs planned before the coronavirus pandemic, the center will be offering a rotating selection of activities for people of all ages -- all for free.

The programs will all be for small groups, participants must wear masks, and the center has developed protocols to completely sanitize equipment like life jackets, paddleboards, and kayaks between programs.

“We’re really excited that we can offer what we can, and get families out on the water,” said Katherine Garofoli.

Afternoon programs for kids include exploring Burgess Point for a round of Burgess Beach Bingo -- a game devised by center staff to introduce kids to local flora and fauna in a fun way.

The Maureen Anne charter boat will take small groups out fishing.

One day each week, families will be able to borrow the center’s sailboat to explore the bay. Staff will be on site and ready to motor out to assist the family if necessary.

Twice each week, Ebb and Flow Wellness will donate yoga instruction for a program. Participants will kayak out to Wicket’s Island before taking a yoga class on the grassy knoll at the top of the island.

The stairs up to the top of the island are being renovated, and the knoll has been replanted to restore it to a grassy meadow.

On Tuesday mornings, adults will be able to borrow the center’s Bevin’s skiffs -- a type of simple rowboat -- for open rowing. Other adult programs include sunset paddle kayak tours of the bay, open sailing, and rowing lessons taught by members of the Buzzards Bay Rowing Club.

On weekday mornings, the center will collaborate with the Wareham CARES program to get kids out into nature and the water.

“We need nature now more than ever,” said Garofoli, noting that many kids have missed out on outdoor activities during the pandemic.

The facility is now nearly complete, and a celebration of the new space will be planned when it is safe to do so.

Garofoli said that she will be following Governor Charlie Baker’s announcements, and may expand programming if larger groups are allowed. She is also looking ahead to the fall, and working on developing after-school programs.

Nemasket Kayak has moved into its space on the ground floor of the center, and is renting out kayaks and following safety procedures to sanitize all equipment between customers.

Registration for the new Onset Bay Center’s summer programs will be available online June 18 at onsetbaycenter.org.