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Kamp Kate: Local girl is helping to save summer for kids in her neighborhood

13-year-old Kate Jaycox runs local camp program for neighborhood families.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Summertime is a magical time of the year when you're a kid. And for many, camp is an essential part of the summer experience.

Unfortunately, that look has look different this year for many families.

But Kate Jaycox is helping turn things around for kids in her Cleveland Heights neighborhood - thanks to Kamp Kate.

"It is basically summer camp for your kids backyard. So I do 90 minute sessions, I take all the supplies, they all come in, and then they all come out. I give the parents a break and it's just something small to look forward to," said Jaycox in a recent interview with 3News' Laura Caso.

Kate, who will be an 8th grader at Laurel School this fall, says the idea was sparked after her own camp plans were cancelled due to the pandemic. 

"I knew a lot of families were stressing probably about child care and entertainment for their kids but it was also something for me to fill my time with which was really great."

So, she's spent the last few months, working with area families, who have signed up their little campers - ranging from two to eight years old.

Kate tells 3News, safety is a top priority for all.

"I wear a mask every time I go to a client's house, and we sanitize before and after every activity. Every item that I bring for the kids to use or play with, I sanitize it when i get home," she said.

"Safety is a big part of my camp considering we are in a pandemic and trying to all stay safe."

But, so is fun. Jaycox plans at least ten activities per session, and creates a special theme each week. 

"We usually have two crafts per session, there's story time, and then sometimes there's a snack."

Kate tells us, the experience has taught her a lot - including how to manage expenses, and, motivation.

"Definitely running a one-woman business you have to have a lot of grit and determination," Jaycox said.

But for now, she's proud of the work she put into running her own camp, Kamp Kate, this summer.

"It was kind of my thing that I found I did during the 2020 summer of the pandemic but there's definitely something for everyone. And I encourage  every other kid out there to take what they like to do and their creativity and make something out of it."